Advent Musings: In Which I Ponder Candles

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The word “Advent” is my signal to start officially getting ready for Christmas lest I’m super stressed come Christmas Eve.  This weekend I dug out the Advent wreath and our Christmas-themed plates and mugs, and bought new candles for the wreath.  I went through the photographs on our computer and chose which family snapshot I would insert into our Christmas cards, and ordered the photo calendar we give to our families every year.  That task is always fun, because I get to choose photos from every month of the past year and paste together a calendar on whichever photo website I’m using.  (This year it’s CVS.  The calendars look good, but I might try and find a cheaper one for next year.  In the past I used VistaPrint but I wasn’t happy with the ones I ordered from them the last time.)   And last night Joe asked me the dreaded questions, “What should we get the boys this year?  And what do YOU want for Christmas?”  I think that’s what I fret about the most–trying to come up with unique and awesome gifts for everyone year after year.  It’s a yearly dilemma that we always manage to figure out.

When I went to the store to buy new candles for the Advent wreath I found myself faced with another little dilemma–besides whether or not I actually needed new ones; the old candles were getting a little stubby-looking, but they still had one more year left in them, at least.  The boys insisted that the old ones were just fine, but I like my Advent candles nice and long and tapered.  But I also had to decide exactly what color they would be.

Everyone knows and Advent wreath has four purple candles and one pink rose one, right?  Well, as some of you know, the preschool where I work is located in an Episcopal church.  I learned two years ago that they use blue for their vestments during Advent, and the candles on the Advent wreath in our classroom are also blue.  I’d never seen blue used during Advent, and I assumed that it was an Episcopalian thing.  I was talking about this with one of my Catholic friends recently, who was of the opinion that blue might actually be an optional color for Advent in Catholic churches.  And it’s not just an Episcopalian thing, because the mom of one of our preschoolers who is going through Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training with me said in her Episcopal church back home they use purple during Advent, and in her husband’s Catholic church where he grew up, they use blue.

Huh.

So I’m standing in the candle store looking over all the shades of purple and pink rose–and blue.  (Hmmm, the blue ones do look nice…maybe I could get some purpleish-blueish ones; seriously, am I even allowed to do that?)  In the end I got four dark maroon-y purple candles and one bright pink one.  But I noticed that my Advent wreath that I ordered years ago from a Catholic store is decorated with fake berries of violet, rose, and blue.  So maybe

Yesterday I saw this post from Father Z.  He clearly does NOT approve of blue, especially on the vestments in church.  And according to Catholic Exchange, blue isn’t an approved liturgical color for Advent, at least not in the Catholic Church.  Technically candles should be the same colors as the vestments–violet.

Still…I kinda like the blue…

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About momn3boys

I'm a 40-something mom of three sons. I'm a teacher, lover of the outdoors, and a convert to the Catholic faith. My recent love of running and geocaching inspired me to start my blog, Ramblings of a Runner Cacher. Even though my family doesn't share my love for either of those things, we have A LOT of other things we enjoy together: movies, the beach, skiing, and Indy Car racing to name a few.
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