From the Pastoral Associate... 12-3-2017

During this Advent season, will you have an Advent wreath in your home?

St. Mary Catholic Community Downtown Royal Oak From the Pastoral Associate...It’s an old Christian custom that began in the sixteenth century. Over the years the Advent wreath tradition has been adopted by many cultures and communities because of its meaningful symbolisms: God becoming man and our personal reflections on our shortcomings in anticipation of the second coming of Christ Jesus.

The evergreen branches used to create the wreath represent the hope of eternal life that all people share with God. The four candles not only represent the four weeks of Advent but also the centuries people waited for the coming of the Messiah and today as we wait in preparing ourselves for Jesus’ second coming.

There are three purple candles and one pink candle. The candles represent the coming of Jesus Christ, light for the world. On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit. This candle represents hope or expectation of Jesus’s coming. On the second Sunday of Advent, the second purple candle is lit and it represents love. Love of God, love of neighbor and love of self. On the third Sunday of Advent, the pink candle is lit. The pink candle represents joy. The joy of the incarnation (God the Son becomes flesh by being conceived in the womb of Mary) and our waiting in joyful hope for the second coming of Jesus! On the fourth Sunday of Advent the third purple candle is lit and it represents the Angel Gabriel bringing God’s message to Mary and she accepted! Her “Yes!” is our “Yes!” to God’s will in our lives too. The fourth candle represents trust and peace in God.

Peace be with you!

Christine Wagberg