The Advent Wreath
St Mary's C of E School has once again worked with Penlee Cluster of Churches to produce an online Advent Calendar with a difference. This year the theme features a hot air balloon landing a location around Mount's Bay and collecting crib figures to create a stable scene on St Clement's Isle, Mousehole.The Advent Calendar can be followed on the Penlee Cluster website - click the link below.
The Advent Wreath – a reminder that all life is a time of preparation.
St Cuby’s church, like many churches, will during Advent prominently display an evergreen wreath with five candles throughout the Advent Season. It is a simple countdown mechanism measuring our weeks of preparation for the arrival, the “advent” of Jesus.
Advent is like a month long opportunity to look at our readiness to face life with Christian values. If you like a series of SATS tests, albeit done privately by the individual, on the Christian life we lead. Symbols are very important in the Christian life because they make pictorially vivid things that are hazy if left as ideas swirling in our heads. Just like SATS indicate how well we are educating our children and how far they are engaged in preparation for life.
Our Advent wreath, made of a mixture of evergreens, symbolizes the continuation of life in the middle of our cold, dark northern winter. The wreath will have three purple candles and one pink candle and a larger white candle at its centre. We start the countdown each Sunday from the first Sunday in Advent until Christmas Day. One purple candle is lit during the first week, two in the second week, the pink one in the third week, and the fourth the last week. For us, as Christians, the gradually increasing light symbolizes the approach of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, the light of the world. As a school we celebrate the increasing light of knowledge in the children laying the foundations of life here.
As we light each candle week by week we bring to mind the stories of the Jewish - Christian tradition. The first candle represents the prophets of the Old Testament calling people to ethical behaviour, the second candle reminds us of our trust (Faith) in God, the third (pink) candle is the symbol of Joy – the Shepherds’ joy at hearing the good news and Mary’s joy at being chosen by God for a vital role in his plan, and the fourth candle is that of the “Angels” symbolizing our hope for peace in God’s world. The fifth candle (white) in the middle of the wreath is for Christmas Eve or Day symbolizing the arrival of Christ, the light of the world.
In our calendar Advent lasts but four weeks but we know it is just a practice for the whole of life in which we never cease to prepare for the next phase of our lives, each phase but a stepping stone, or another candle in the never ending circle of life.