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How To Have A Family Advent Celebration

As we approach the Advent season, I want to share a special tradition that the Reed family has held dear to our hearts for many years. The Advent Wreath Celebration (with its evergreen branches and candles) carries profound symbolism that has enriched our Christmas season for years.

The Advent Wreath Celebration is more than Christmassy decorations. It’s a beautiful journey of faith, hope, peace, joy, and love. With each candle we light, we not only countdown to Christmas but also reflect on the deeper meanings of this season.

Observing Advent reminds our family to appreciate this season, moving us toward the real meaning of Christmas. Amidst all the excitement that Christmastime brings, it’s easy to lose sight of why we celebrate Christmas in the first place…the joyful celebration of Jesus’ birth and passionate anticipation of His return.

My hope is that your family can experience the same sense of joyful togetherness that this special tradition has brought to mine. May this Advent season be a time of spiritual growth, shared moments, and profound gratitude for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!

Here’s how you can celebrate Advent with a wreath and candles…

1) Gather Your Supplies
– One Advent Wreath (a circular wreath made of evergreen branches)
– Five Candles (3 purple, 1 pink, 1 white)
– Five Candle Holders (to secure the candles and protect from overflow)
– One Striker or a Book of Matches

2) Set Up the Advent Wreath and Candles
– Place the Advent Wreath in a central location, such as on a dining table or a prominent spot in your home.
– Arrange the candles inside the wreath with the white candle at the center. Make sure everything is stable.

3) Understand the Meaning of the Wreath and Candles
– The circular shape of the wreath represents the eternal nature of Christ and His everlasting love. The evergreen branches represent the eternal life that comes through our faith in Jesus.
– The first purple candle represents Hope and is lit on the 1st Sunday of Advent.
– The second purple candle represents Peace and is lit on the 2nd Sunday of Advent.
– The pink candle represents Joy and is lit on the 3rd Sunday of Advent.
– The third purple candle represents Love and is lit on the 4th Sunday of Advent.
– The white candle represents Jesus’ birth and is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

4) Celebrate with Your Family
– Each Sunday of Advent (beginning the 4th Sunday before Christmas), gather your family together to celebrate. How you celebrate is entirely up to you.
– As you light the appropriate candle, additional elements can include worship music, Bible reading, devotional reading, prayer time, individual share time, coloring, singing, games, food, and conversation.

Here’s one way you can celebrate Advent as a family:

1st Sunday: Light the Candle of Hope
Read: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)
Discuss: This candle reminds us of the hope we find in the promise of a Savior, the One who will bring peace and light into our lives. What are you hoping for that Jesus can bring into your life?
Act: Name someone in need that your family can help. This week, bring the hope of Jesus into their life.
Pray: “Dear God, we thank you for the hope that your Son, Jesus, brings into our lives. Help us be messengers of this hope to those who need it in both word and deed. In Jesus’ powerful name, we pray. Amen.”

2nd Sunday: Light the Candle of Peace
Read: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14 (NLT)
Discuss: This candle signifies the peace that comes from the presence of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, who brings reconciliation between God and people. It’s through Jesus only, that we can have a relationship with God.
Act: Make an effort to reconcile with someone you may have a conflict with, offering forgiveness and peace.
Pray: “Heavenly Father, we thank you for the peace that comes through your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us be peacemakers in our relationships. In Jesus’ powerful name, we pray. Amen.”

3rd Sunday: Light the Candle of Joy
Read: “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.” Luke 1:14 (NLT)
Discuss: The pink candle represents the joy that filled the hearts of those who heard the good news of Jesus’ coming birth. Spread joy to your family by sharing a few reasons why you’re grateful for Jesus’ birth and life.
Act: Who is someone in your life that’s currently lacking joy? What can you do to help this week?
Pray: “Lord, we thank you for the joy that your Son brings into our lives. May we share that joy with others, spreading the good news of his birth. In Jesus’ powerful name, we pray. Amen.”

4th Sunday: Light the Candle of Love
Read: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NLT)
Discuss: The fourth candle lit represents the profound love of God, who selflessly gave His Son, Jesus, to grant us the gift of eternal life. Who is someone to share God’s love with, so they can receive this priceless gift?
Act: This week, share the gift of Jesus with someone.
Pray: “Heavenly Father, we are grateful for your love demonstrated through the gift of your Son, Jesus. May we love others as you have loved us. In Jesus’ powerful name, we pray. Amen.”

Christmas Eve/Day: Light the Christ Candle
Read: “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness because you will have the light that leads to life.’” John 8:12 (NLT)
Discuss: The Christ candle symbolizes the light of the world, Jesus Christ, who has come to bring us eternal life. What are you most looking forward to in Heaven?
Act: Share how you can bring light to others through acts of kindness and words of encouragement.
Pray: “Lord Jesus, You are the Light of the world. May Your light shine brightly in our hearts and through our actions as we celebrate Your birth. May others see You in us. In Jesus’ powerful name, we pray. Amen.”

You can download the Family Christmas Advent Guide PDF by Clicking Here.


  • Chris Reed

    Chris married his beautiful bride, Tina, in 1990. They have three wonderful adult children, Jacob, Kaylee, and Macie Joy. Chris began pastoring at a church in Los Angeles in 1995 where he was the Children’s and Student Pastor. He was the Executive Pastor of Student Ministries at John Maxwell's church in South Florida before he came to Saddleback in 2008 as our Pastor to 20s/30s. He has since served as Singles Pastor, Small Groups Pastor, Marriages Pastor, and Parents Pastor. He is currently our Extensions Pastor, leading the charge for Saddleback Church start-ups across the US and world. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies and his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

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