Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. The word ‘Advent’ means ‘coming’ in Latin, and so Christians use the time to celebrate Jesus coming into the world as a baby, and prepare for Jesus coming back at the end of time to take us all to heaven. No one is really sure when Advent was first celebrated but it dates back to the first century when monks were ordered to fast during December leading up to Christmas. Paper Advent calendars were first popular in Germany in the early 1900s.

To help you celebrate Advent you could make an advent wreath, the tradition being that you light one candle on each of the four Sundays of Advent, and a fifth one on Christmas day


How to make an advent wreath

Stick greenery into a circular oasis, or make a circle with wire or card and decorate with green paper leaves. You could even make a really little one with birthday cake candles

Press four candles firmly into the oasis or stick them into jar lids with plasticine or blu-tak. Make sure they can’t fall over

Often three of the candles are purple to represent the advent time of prayer and sacrifice. The middle candle is normally white, but don’t worry if you have to use a different colours

Add ribbons and decorations if you wish

What the wreath represents

The circle and green represent God’s never ending love

The first candle represents prophecy and HOPE. We have HOPE because God keeps his promises (Romans 15:12-13)

The second candle represents FAITH. It is sometimes called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7)

The third candle is often pink, it is sometimes called the shepherds candle. Pink represents JOY. The angels sang a song of JOY (Luke 2:7-15)

The fourth candle or Angel Candle represents LOVE. The angels share the good news that God sent Jesus because he LOVEs us (John 3:16)

The fifth candle placed in the middle represents Jesus. One of Jesus’ names is The Prince of PEACE (Isaiah 9:6)

Advent Calendars for use in Schools

Rev Walker and congregation members have produced these Advent Calendars for use in Burton Pidsea Primary School with Key Stage One and Key Stage Two children.

They have kindly shared them with us for you to use. If you would like the originals so that you can amend them for your own context, please email Carolyn.Edwards@yorkdiocese.org