The significance of Christmas wreath offers more than just magnificence to the season by adding beauty and color. Christmas wreaths have an innately Christian spiritual connotation of perpetual life, but they are also other meanings and symbols from ancient Rome and Greece.
One of the many customs observed throughout the holiday season is the hanging of a Christmas wreath on the front entrance. But where does this custom originate from and what does the wreath represent?
Christmas Wreath Symbolism and Meaning
Each element of the Christmas wreath has a seasonal significance.
The shape of a traditional wreath is a circle. For both Christians and non-Christians, this circle can mean many different things:
God’s unending presence, which has no beginning or end
The seasonal cycle, which goes from spring through winter and then back to spring
the expectation of life’s rebirth
the promise of eternal life through the Savior, Christ
God’s unwavering love
Components of the Wreath
Early wreaths were constructed from a variety of evergreen materials. In general, evergreens stand for continuity and perseverance through adversity. However, each evergreen utilized also has a meaning:
- Holly is a representation of Christ’s crown of thorns from the Crucifixion.
- Yew, holly, and pine are emblems of perpetual life.
- Cedar symbolizes recovery.
- The laurel leaf stands for victory over pain and suffering.
- Nuts, seeds, and pine cones are symbols of birth and rebirth.
Red and green, the traditional Christmas hues, also have symbolic significance. Green is a symbol of growth and life. It represents the soul’s eternal life to Christians. Christ’s blood on the cross is symbolized by the color red.
The candles also have a unique meaning of their own. One candle is lit every Sunday to symbolize each of the four weeks of Advent. Because the color violet is a liturgical one that denotes a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice, three of the candles are purple.
Hope is represented by the first candle, which is purple. In honor of the prophets, particularly Isaiah, who prophesied the birth of Christ, it is occasionally referred to as the “Prophecy Candle.” It symbolizes the eagerness felt in anticipation of the Messiah’s arrival.
The second candle, which is purple as well, stands for faith. Because it serves as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, it is known as the “Bethlehem Candle.”
Gaudete Sunday, which falls on the third Sunday of Advent, is intended to serve as a reminder of the joy that the world felt upon the birth of Jesus as well as the delight that the faithful have arrived at the midway of Advent.
We burn the last purple candle during the fourth week of Advent to symbolize the last week of fasting and prayer before the birth of our Savior. The “Angel’s Candle,” the last candle, stands for peace. It makes us think of the angels’ proclamation of “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”
Even though the Advent wreath at Mercy Home does not have a white candle, modern-day variations of this custom have gained popularity.
On Christmas Eve, the white candle is set in the center of the wreath and lit. The “Christ Candle” is a candle that symbolizes Christ’s life. Because Christ is our sinless, sinless Savior, the color white stands for purity.
An Advent wreath is used by many families as part of their celebration. Typically, an evergreen circle, three purple candles, one rose candle, and one white candle make up an advent wreath (center of wreath). Some folks choose to use only four candles instead of the white candle. The white flame symbolizes the birth of Christ, while the purple and pink candles represent the four weeks leading up to Christmas, known as Advent. Usually, a Bible verse is read, and then a brief prayer.
Leaves and Fruits
Its leaves and fruits are intertwined to form a wreath that represents the strength of life. A wreath is always made with evergreen leaves that can survive cold and freezing temperatures. This represents the courage and strength that humanity need build in order to face all of life’s difficulties. The wreath’s shape also represents the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head, the resurrection, and eternal life. Berries and other fruits represent wealth and success.
The practice of hanging a wreath on the front door dates back many centuries. For instance, as a sign of their love, the Ancient Greeks would place a wreath on their lover’s door. The Windsor Garden Club claims that placing a wreath on your front door has long traditions throughout Europe. Harvest wreaths were popular and revered as religious emblems of procrastination for the long, cold winter.
Christmas wreaths have historically been made from evergreens. There are two explanations for this. First, since other foliage has withered away during the winter, evergreens continue to look their finest, making them the natural choice. Additionally, evergreens symbolize the continuity of life and nature from a symbolic perspective. They serve as a reminder that spring and new growth are approaching. In order to symbolise fertility, berries were put to the wreaths.
Another aspect of the history of wreaths is their connection to Christianity. According to legend, the white berries on the holly branches that Jesus was wearing became crimson. The wreath was adorned with four candles and served as a representation of Jesus. One candle would go in the center and three would go around the wreath. The center candle would be lit on Christmas Eve to symbolize the coming of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. The wreath’s round form, which has no start or finish, also represented perpetual life. Wreaths frequently used the hues red, green, white, or purple to signify the sacrifice, joy, blood, life, blood, and forgiveness of Jesus.
A traditional Advent wreath consists of four violet or rose candles surrounded by an evergreen ring, with a fifth candle placed in the center. Every wreath begins with some kind of base, which might be made of wire, straw, vine, or wood. To create a fragrant base, coil the stalks of woody herbs like rosemary, lemon verbena, artemisia, or summer savory into a circle. Small evergreen bunches should be gathered and wired to the base. To conceal the stems, overlap the bunches. If more wire is required to hold them, tuck little bunches of herbs and other intriguing greens into the base. Your wreath will have more depth if you choose greens with a variety of hues and textures. The candles are lit every day before dinner, one during the first week and then another each following week until the 25th of December. The candle in the center of the wreath is the final candle. This candle, which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, is lit on Christmas Eve. As accents, include cones, dried flowers, berries, and fruit. Bear in mind the bow!