Advent is just around the corner, starting next Sunday, November 30. One church tradition that is easy to also start at home is the lighting of an Advent wreath.
The wreath can either be purchased or it can be made very easily. Just gather some evergreen into a circular shape and place four candles along the circle. Traditionally, three candles are purple and one is pink for the third Sunday of Advent. But an easy adaptation is to use white candles or even white tealights and just wrap purple ribbon around three of the candles and pink around one.
You can use the same Advent prayers that you use at Mass each Sunday. If you have children, however, you may want to select some prayers that are specifically written for children. A good website for this is sponsored by the Passionist Missionaries.
For each week of Advent, there is a very short prayer for the adults to read. This is followed by a simple prayer for the children to read. Read the prayers each day as you light the candles.
Light one purple candle for the first week of Advent from Sunday, Nov. 30 through Saturday, Dec. 6. Light the same purple candle plus a second purple candle for the second week from Sunday, Dec. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 13. Light both of these candles plus the pink one for the third week from Sunday, Dec. 14 through Saturday, Dec. 20. And light all four candles each day from Sunday Dec. 21 till Christmas eve.
Individuals, especially children, benefit from rituals, and this is a wonderful one to bring into your home.