Bishop Ronald Gainer visited Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown on Nov. 29 for an assembly on stewardship and the blessing of the school’s Advent wreath before the school community. During the blessing ceremony, students in the school’s music department offered their talents for musical accompaniment of the hymns with brass, woodwinds and strings.
Traditionally, Advent wreaths are constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent.
The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas.
The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.
For Advent resources visit: https://www.hbgdiocese.org/liturgy-worship-and-prayer/advent/