In anticipation of the Christmas celebration, our family lights an Advent wreath each night before dinner during December. I purchase a some green boughs and four taper candles (3 violet and 1 rose colored) and place it on our dining room table. The first week, one violet candle is lit. The second week, two violet candles are lit. The third week, two violet candles and one rose-colored candle are lit. And finally, the last week before Christmas, all four candles in the wreath are lit. I also purchase one large white candle for the center of the wreath, that candle is lit along with the other four beginning on Christmas Eve. In addition to lighting the candles, our family says a short prayer to accompany the candle lighting. I've included the prayers our family uses below.
O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, desire of every nation, Savior of all peoples, come and dwell among us.
O King of all nations, Jesus Christ, only joy of every heart,
come and save your people.
O Key of David, Jesus Christ, the gates of heaven open at your command, come and show us the way to salvation.
O Wisdom, holy Word of God, Jesus Christ, all things are in your hands, come and show us the way to salvation.
The short prayer and lighting ceremony help us to remember the true meaning of Christmas. At the Christmas Eve lighting, we read the story of the birth of Christ from the bible.
~Beverly D., Madison, WI