Today, Sunday, November the 27th 2016, marks the beginning of a new liturgical year with The Season of Advent.
And according to Holiday Insights: "Advent is a holy season in the Christian calendar. It is the beginning of the liturgical calendar. It is a very special time, as Christians wait and prepare for the coming of the Lord, Jesus whose birth we celebrate on Christmas. While Santa Claus' arrival is a big big event, we must remember Jesus' birth on earth is much bigger, and the real cause for Christmas. In the early days of the church, Advent was a time of prayer and confession. Today, Advent is more a time of preparation and expectation of the coming of the Lord.
"The Advent Wreath is an important symbol of Advent of the season. It usually sits on the dinner table and is a constant reminder of the holy season. The wreath is of German origin and consists for an evergreen wreath, and four Advent candles. Three candles are purple and one is pink.
"The lighting tradition- On the fourth Sunday before Christmas (the first Sunday of Advent), the first Advent candle is lit at dinner and a short prayer is said. The first candle is lit each night along with a short prayer. On the second Sunday of Advent, a second purple candle is lit. On the third Sunday the pink candle is lit. Finally on the fourth Sunday of Advent, just a few days before the birth of Christ, the final purple candle is lit.
"The Advent wreath is made up of two basic parts: the wreath itself and the candles. The wreath is made of evergreen, either real or artificial. It s circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end. The evergreen was chosen as it symbolizes growth and everlasting life. There are four candles, three purple and one pink. They represent the four weeks of preparation. As another candle is it each week, we are reminded of the growing light of Christ's presence.
"The meaning of the candles is as follows: First Purple candle: represents hope. Second Purple Candle: stands for love. Third, pink candle: represents joy. Fourth purple candle: is a symbol of peace. "
Although I've not gone to church on a regular basis for quite some time, I do appreciate the message offered during the Advent Season. It is a season that I've written about in a number of entries over the years that I've been on Blogger. Moreover, for the course of various Advent seasons, I've put up a wreath in my home to honor the occasion. The one seen in the picture atop this blog entry is my wreath for the 2016 Advent Season. It is made of three types of evergreens: Fraser Fir, Dogwood, and Cedar.
I got it from a Canadian grower known as Laura, and on annual basis, her workers set up stands on a number of NYC street corners (such as the one pictured below), where they sell Christmas trees as well as wreaths.
This is the first year that I've had a wreath made of three evergreen varieties. In bygone years I've had different types of wreaths and have decorated them in different ways, as evidenced in the following photographs.
As you can see I've used both figurines and Christmas lights to enhance my wreaths. The lights as well as all of the figurines (with the exception of the two mini snow-people in front of the wreath) were procured at More & More Antiques during the time period I was writing for hometalk.
More & More Antiques, as I've mentioned in prior posts here on Blogger, is a magical store! And I'm thrilled that Steve Mohr, the sole proprietor of the place, has ordered some of my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards to sell there, which is a fact that you may recall from an announcement I made in a blog entry earlier in the month.
Each of my postcards were designed using different images from both iBook and ePub version of Cam's book, Words In Our Beak Volume One.
The images on my postcards include ones of the bird types known as cardinals, house finches, and mourning doves. They also include images of flowers (tulips and roses) as well as foliage (from the amazing kiwi vines). And images of insects (a butterfly, a caterpillar, and a dragonfly) are also in my collection. Pictures of the postcards can be found within a post here on Blogger as well as on my web-site, patriciayoungquist.com.
Of course it's always better to see them in person and if you find yourself in NYC, I encourage you to do so by going to Steve's store, More & More Antiques, located at 378 Amsterdam Avenue, which is on the UWS of Manhattan.
Meanwhile, to those of you who honor the Season of Advent in your heart and in your home, I wish you to have the graces offered during this time.