Advent Flames



Another way of counting Advent days is the use of an Advent wreath with a candle to light and add each Sunday during Advent. For our Advent candles at home, we do not use the same arrangement every year, and often do not use traditional colors (3 purple, 1 pink, and a white candle for the center candle, the Christ candle).  I use the same candles from the year before when possible.  Here, the first candle, lit last Sunday, burns brightly – the candle of Hope. Of course the candles lit in the beginning burn down the furthest, If all the candles were new, all of them would be the same height in the beginning. This candle may be the tallest now, but will wind up being the shortest in the last week of Advent.

I recently learned about a little known Advent tradition of using an Advent log, instead of a wreath.  It has a candle hole for each day of Advent, plus one for Christmas day.   Here is a poem  that refers to this lovely tradition:


Prayer at the Advent Log

The small lights steady

against the dark

Your flame is touching ours.

Today is the fifth day.

It is a safe fire,

the candles still tall

against the brittle wood

of the birch, the air

damp and chill.

But the days will draw us

inexorably toward

Your celebration.

And again we’ll stand

in the crackling air,

the first day’s flames

licking the log

with their shortened lives,

the length of it threatened

by Your fire,

Your love dazzling our eyes,

And O Christ,

Your love

searing our nakedness.

~Jean Janzen as quoted in A Widening Light, edited by Luci Shaw.