Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Christmas Advent Wreath

Only three full days now until Christmas Eve -- are you ready?  I'm never ready until the last minute, and this year is no different than any other, in that respect.  ๐Ÿ˜‰  Yesterday, we drove to a church that's about twenty minutes from our house to see this advent wreath that my mother-in-law told us about.
   



This picture gives you a pretty good idea of the scale of the wreath compared to the church building.  This is Konnoak Hills Moravian Church.  Moravians are a Christian Protestant group who came to America from eastern Europe in the 18th century and settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Salem (now Winston-Salem) North Carolina.  I grew up in Winston-Salem, and the Moravian influence could be seen in all the older parts, as well as some of the newer areas, of our city.  My parents went to a Moravian church (my mom still does) and so does my sister. 
   

  This is a large sculpture created by Chase Alexander Key and donated to this Moravian Church in honor of his maternal grandparents who were members here since 1953 and also in honor of his paternal grandmother who lived just a block away.  Mr. Key also dedicated the sculpture to Konnoak Hills Moravian Church and to the Konnoak Hills Neighborhood.  He did an amazing job on this sculpture; I've seen many Moravian Advent wreaths in my lifetime, and he captured the details beautifully.
   
  
You can see that the candle in the back, right section of the wreath has not been lit yet, in fact, would symbolically have been lit in this morning's worship service.  On Christmas Eve, candles one through four will be extinguished and the center candle will activate to signify the birth of the Christ Child.  You can see that the candles are different heights to indicate that some have been "burning" longer than others, just as the real beeswax candles would do in the smaller wreath.  This is such a realistic representation.  
   
   
The red "frills" that you see here represent the red crepe paper used to dress these Moravian candles.  The candles used in Moravian Christmas and Easter services are made of beeswax, considered the purest of all animal or vegetable waxes, and suggested the purity of Christ.  The red paper frill on the candles represents the blood of Christ, shed for all people.  As you can imagine, these beeswax candles smell wonderful when they burn.  Some churches, like my mom's, still make their own candles with antique molds. 
   
   
These are some Moravian beeswax candles that I put out every Christmas; my mom made the Moravian star candleholders for me in ceramics over 30 years ago.     
      
      
   
When I was growing up, my maternal grandparents lived about 15 minutes from this neighborhood.  We always drove through here on the way to their house, and it was the cutest neighborhood.  I wish we had taken some pictures of the cute cottages and bungalows that we saw yesterday.  
      

Hal and I both took some pictures around the outside of the church.  The building on the left was the original church building and sanctuary, and the building on the right is the newer sanctuary, hence the two steeples.
   



   




This information was posted near the Advent Wreath sculpture.  You can enlarge the picture by clicking on it, and you may be able to read more about this advent wreath.  I think the Moravian message the wreath conveys is that the light of the candles is a symbol of the light Jesus brought to the world, and we, as Christians, can share that light with others.   
   
As always, I thank you for your visit here.  I hope you all have a Blessed Christmas season.
 
  

   
   

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures! You did a really good job with this post and the information on the Moravian Church. I'm sure everyone will enjoy it. Love, Mom

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  2. What a beautiful and meaningful Advent wreath. Such a great outing! Merry Christmas, Denise!

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    1. Thank you, Lorrie, and Merry Christmas to you my friend!

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  3. Pretty photos. Remember when Easter Monday was a “holiday” here?

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    1. Thank you, Polly. Yes, I do remember when Easter Monday was a holiday here.

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  4. Not growing up with Advent wreaths or the mention of Advent in our churches I find all this history interesting. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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    1. I'm glad the post was interesting to you, Ellen! Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family, as well!!

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  5. What a beautiful tribute and tradition. The candles are beautiful I would imagine that many look forward the the display every year--that it is part of their holiday tradition. Lovely story.

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