What’s Been Happening in Religious Education
As the season of Advent is now upon us, I would like to share with you a free Advent calendar app.
The Xt3 Advent Calendar App is FREE!
Search for “Xt3 Advent” in the Google Play store or the App store.
To download on iPhone: http://bit.do/xt3adventiphone
To download on iPad click: http://bit.do/xt3adventipad
To download on an Android phone click: http://bit.do/xt3adventandroid
To download on an Android tablet click: http://bit.do/xt3adventandroidhd
What is the significance of the Advent wreath?As Advent is a time of preparation for the birth of our Lord, this app allows you to reflect and meditate upon what this and the upcoming Christmas season means. The reflections are only short and will only take up about 2 minutes of your day, but are a wonderful way to focus on the true meaning of what this season means rather than the hustle and bustle of our very secular Christmas preparations of parties and gifts.
SHAPE: The circular shape of the wreath, without beginning or end, symbolizes God’s complete and unending love for us—a love that sent his Son into the world to redeem us from the curse of sin. It also represents eternal life which becomes ours through faith in Jesus Christ.
NUMBER: The Advent Wreath traditionally holds four candles which are lit, one at a time, on each of the four Sundays of the Advent season. Each candle represents 1,000 years. Added together, the four candles symbolize the 4,000 years that humanity waited for the world’s Savior—from Adam and Eve to Jesus, whose birth was foretold in the Old Testament.
Some Advent wreath traditions also include a fifth white “Christ” candle, symbolizing purity, that is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. Many circular wreaths can incorporate a white candle by adding a pillar candle to the wreath centre.
COLOR: Violet is a liturgical color that is used to signify a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice and is used during Advent and Lent. Advent, also called “little Lent,” is the season where we spiritually wait in our “darkness” with hopeful expectation for our promised redemption, just as the whole world did before Christ’s birth, and just as the whole world does now as we eagerly await his promised return.
During the first two weeks of Advent we light the first two purple candles. The Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. On this day we celebrate that our waiting for the birth of Jesus on Christmas day is almost over. Rose is a liturgical color that is used to signify joy, so we light the single pink candle on the third Sunday of Advent.
Then on the fourth Sunday of Advent, the final purple candle is lit to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait expectantly for the soon-coming birth of the King of Kings.
Traditionally, each of the four Advent candles have a deeper meaning which is depicted in the lovely Four Weeks of Advent Wreath:
- The 1st Sunday of Advent symbolizes Hope with the “Prophet’s Candle” reminding us that Jesus is coming.
- The 2nd Sunday of Advent symbolizes Faith with the “Bethlehem Candle” reminding us of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
- The 3rd Sunday of Advent symbolizes Joy with the “Shepherd’s Candle” reminding us of the Joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus.
- The 4th Sunday of Advent symbolizes Peace with the “Angel’s Candle” reminding us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”
Mrs Diane Kennaugh
Leader of Religious Education and Mission