On Sunday November 27th before and after the service you will have an opportunity to make an Advent Wreath. We will provide all the necessary supplies and have “aides” there to assist if you choose. If you have a wreath form that you have used in the past and would like to use again, please bring it. If you would like a wreath but are unable to be there on the 27th please let Deacon Karulynn deacon(at)emmanuelgreenwood.org or the office know info(at)emmanuelgreenwood.org
Songbirds know a thing or two about singing into darkness: in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun appears over the horizon, they begin a great symphony that scientists call the “dawn chorus.”
Advent is the church’s dawn chorus. We have shared a devotional with you that will walk with scripture through the season’s four weeks of hope, peace, joy, and love, singing into shadows and looking to the light.
Why do we use wreaths in preparation for Christmas? What is the significance? Advent is the first season of the new church year for most Christian denominations. It is a season of preparation - preparing for the birth of Our Savior. We should take time to begin this season with a renewed commitment to our worship practices. The color of the paraments will change to blue, the hymns that we sing will have a different feeling and there will be greens instead of flowers at the altar. These changes are to provide food for thought, awaken our senses in preparation and appreciation. What better way than to light a candle with prayer each evening before dinner? The four candles have “designations” of hope, peace, joy, and love. The chosen prayers will provide insights into the designated word for each candle, singing into the shadows and looking to the light.
A wreath has been used by Christians in this way since the middle ages. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ. The evergreens used signify continuous life. Some specific evergreens have special meanings - Laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering, pine, holly and yew, immortality and cedar, strength and healing. Holly also has a special Christian symbolism. The prickly leaves remains us of the crown of thorns, and one English legend legend tells of how the cross was made of holly.
As this season approaches, I invite you to participate in the preparation of Christmas with the making and enjoying and Advent wreath-joining the songbirds singing into the darkness.