Author Topic: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation  (Read 839 times)

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Offline Last Tradhican

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Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
« on: December 04, 2017, 07:40:47 AM »
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  • http://www.traditioninaction.org/Questions/F070_Wreath.htm

    What Is the Origin of the Advent Wreath?



     Dear TIA,

     Where did the Advent wreath originate?

     In our church this year there is no Advent Wreath because the priest said it is pagan. Many true Catholics are upset over this. The wreath traditionally has been part of the Catholic Church for over 400 years so where would this idea come from? Please help!

          P.L.

    ______________________


    TIA responds:

     Dear P.L.,

     The Advent Wreath, as many may know, is an evergreen wreath with four candles representing the four weeks of Advent. It is generally displayed in homes and schools throughout the Advent season and traditionally displays three purple candles and one pink candle.


    A Catholic Advent Wreath
    The liturgical color for Advent is purple, and the purple candles symbolize the prayer, penance and good works undertaken during this time in preparation for Christmas. One purple candle is lit the first Sunday, another is lit on the second Sunday. The rose candle is lit on the third, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass. The fourth purple candle is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent. The gradually increasing light symbolizes the approach of the Birth of Christ, the Light of the world.

     Your question motivated a fairly extensive search through our medieval files, library sources and the Internet about the origin and history of this pious custom. We found a mélange of information that we sifted through in order to establish when the Advent Wreath became a Catholic custom.

     Perhaps your priest was referring to the wreath itself as pagan, since some histories report that the evergreen wreath originated in the pagan times of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Evergreens were gathered into round piles with candles placed upon them, which represented the yearly cycle, and so on. Such data, however, are not trustworthy since they generally come from wicca sites, which habitually pretend that every Christmas custom or symbol is pagan, baptized and adapted by Catholics.

     From what we could verify, wreaths of evergreens were used in the 7th century in Catholic baptismal ceremonies. In early medieval Europe it was also used in weddings, the bride and bridegroom being crowned with wreaths to symbolize their victory over the temptations of the flesh. By the late Middle Ages, garlands and wreaths were being used as Christmas décor in much of Catholic Europe.

     For Catholics the evergreen is symbolic of life because its needles are green and alive even as the world grows dark and plants die back. The circle wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God. The wreath is a good Catholic symbol, and, in our opinion, should not be rejected because of a possible previous pagan usage.

     These observations regard evergreens, wreaths and garlands. Now, what about the Advent wreath?

    Wooden hoop


    The supposed original Protestant Advent wreath
    Some histories suggest that the chancel light could have been an early form of the Advent wreath. Chancel is the space inside a church between the choir and the sanctuary. Some northern parts of Europe by the late Middle Ages had adopted the custom of hanging a wooden hoop with candles on it in the middle of the chancel from Christmas to Candlemas.

     This lighted hoop, however, was intended to represent the Star of Bethlehem that the Wise Men followed to find Christ. It had nothing to do with the Advent Wreath with four candles, which count the weeks before Christmas.

    A Protestant initiative

     Histories on the modern Advent Wreath, or Adventskran, propose that its origin was in Germany in the 19th century. Protestant scholars point to a Lutheran minister who worked at a children's mission school in Hamburg as initiating the "first" official Advent wreath in 1839. He built a large wooden ring made out of an old cart wheel with 20 small red and 4 large white candles. The red candles were lit successively every weekday during Advent; on Sundays a large white candle was lit.


    In the U.S. the red candles characterize the Protestant wreath
    The custom gained ground among Protestants in Germany and the wheel evolved into the smaller evergreen wreath with four red candles, which was adopted in homes and schools. A fifth white candle was sometimes placed in the center and lit on Christmas Day to represent the Birth of Christ.

     By the end of the 19th century Catholics in Germany had adopted the custom as well, and in the 1920s and 1930s immigrants brought that Advent Wreath to the United States.

    Its use in Catholic churches

     The Advent Wreath was used strictly in homes and schools among Catholics, never in Catholic churches because there were no official liturgical prayers or ceremonies in the Rituale Romanum, the Church's official book of prayers and blessings.

     With the innovations of Vatican II, a blessing of the wreath for the first Sunday of Advent to be said before Mass was included in the Book of Blessings for those countries that requested its inclusion. The wreath is to be lit before Mass at the first Sunday of Advent, and no prayers are said on the last three Sundays.

     Today, many progressivist parish priests are including wreath ceremonies and prayers in the Mass, but these are not approved Church prayers and practices. Only in the last 20 or 30 years have these wreaths been introduced in many Catholic churches, so the practice is a new one, not an old one as you suggest in your question.

    Purple and pink candles

     Where did the practice of having three purple and one pink candle originate? You may be surprised to learn that this practice is an American innovation. If you google Adventskran (Advent Wreath in German), you will see that all the images show an evergreen wreath with four red candles. It is the German traditional wreath.

     The use of an Advent Wreath in Catholic homes was encouraged by the progressivist Liturgical Movement in the 1940s and 1950s. Catholic women were encouraged to introduce more symbols and signs of the liturgical seasons in their homes to develop piety and religious customs in an increasingly commercialized society. One woman in particular, Therese Mueller, a lay leader in the Liturgical Movement and strongly involved with the Catholic Workers, is responsible for this change of color.


    Against the Catholic tradition, the Conciliar Church is trying to elevate the Advent Wreath to a liturgical ceremony - above Card. Sean O'Malley lighting the wreath
    In her series of articles on "The Liturgical Year in the Home," widely circulated throughout U.S. parishes, she encouraged the practice of the Advent Wreath, a custom borrowed from her native Germany. To "Catholicize" the custom more thoroughly, the red candles were switched to liturgical purple and rose, to match the liturgical colors of penitence and royal kingship. (Katherine Harmon, Lay Women in the Liturgical Movement in the US 1926-69, Liturgical Press, 2014, pp. 268-269).

     It became the practice for Protestant temples and homes in the U.S. to use four red candles, and for Catholics to use the purple and pink candles. Some Anglicans, who also adopted the custom in the early 1900s, use blue or white.

     In the spirit of ecumenism, today we find many progressivist Catholic churches abandoning the purple and pink and choosing all white or red candles.

     Many American Catholics are surprised to learn that this custom is relatively unknown in Latin American countries, and even in Italy and Spain.

     In brief, the Advent Wreath is just a pious custom practiced at home, and not a formal liturgical tradition.

     In our opinion, it seems that the custom of the Advent Wreath may be adopted by those who feel an attraction to it. But its use should be restricted to their homes. It is not a liturgical practice of the Catholic Church that should be included in official ceremonies.

     We hope this will be of help to you.
    The Vatican II church - Assisting Souls to Hell Since 1962

    For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Mat 24:24

    Offline Last Tradhican

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 07:46:26 AM »
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  • From an "ecumenical" German blog:

    https://blogs.transparent.com/german/the-history-of-the-adventskranz-advent-wreath/

    To celebrate the pre-Christimas period and to get in touch with its atmosphere, the Advent wreath became an inherent part of German culture.
    Although this christmassy piece of decoration doesn´t exist since a long time: In the year 1839, so the historical tradition, the first Advent wreath was set up by Johann Wichern. The evangelic-lutheran theologian and educater was the leader of the “Rauhes Haus”, a house in the suburbs of Hamburg that was and still is the home for children and teenagers without parents.  To show the children the way to Christmas, he had the idea of an Advent wreath: He decorated an old cartwheel with nineteen small red candles and four big white candles. Every day during Advent time, another small candle was lighted, a big one on every Sunday. So the children could count the days until Christmas.
    Approximately 20 years later, director Wichern started to decorate the wheel additionaly with fir green. All the same, fir green has a long tradition in apartments that reaches back to the middle ages: Branches of juniper, mistletoes and firs symbolized unbroken power of life. The house or farm should be safe from harm.
    And even the candles have their story: In the 14th century they were used as a symbol for newer and brighter times. The candles used to be red during the Advent time, allegorical for the blood that Jesus Christ shed for humanity.
    From Hamburg, the Advent wreath started its triumphal procession out to the Christian world: In 1925 an Advent wreath with four candles was set up in a catholic church in Cologne for the first time. Since 1930 as well in Munich.
    This tradition dispread worldwide until today. Around 1935 the first private Advent wreaths were churchly sanctified. This tradition also exists until today in some places
    The Vatican II church - Assisting Souls to Hell Since 1962

    For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Mat 24:24


    Offline LeDeg

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 11:35:14 AM »
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  • The origin of the Christmas Tree and wreath are not Protestant, but were "lifted" from the pre-Christian Northern Europeans. Just like ornaments, stockings, the colors (red, green, gold, white), Santa Klaus (Odin), and just about everything else.


    Just saying....
    "The whole secret of the campaigns unleashed against Europe can be explained in two words: Masonry and Communism... we have to extirpate these two evils from our land." -Franco

    Offline Last Tradhican

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 10:04:00 AM »
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  • The origin of the Christmas Tree and wreath are not Protestant, but were "lifted" from the pre-Christian Northern Europeans. Just like ornaments, stockings, the colors (red, green, gold, white), Santa Klaus (Odin), and just about everything else.


    Just saying....
    The Christmas wreath with the candles is a Protestant invention (did you read the articles?). It is not Catholic at all, it is a novelty introduced into the Catholic churches around Vatican II. The first Catholic church to house an advent wreath was one in Cologne in 1925.
    The Vatican II church - Assisting Souls to Hell Since 1962

    For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Mat 24:24

    Offline LeDeg

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 05:42:02 PM »
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  • The Christmas wreath with the candles is a Protestant invention (did you read the articles?). It is not Catholic at all, it is a novelty introduced into the Catholic churches around Vatican II. The first Catholic church to house an advent wreath was one in Cologne in 1925.
    I did. I understand the Advent candle innovation. My point is that the wreath is a pre-Chrsitian Norse tradition. 
    "The whole secret of the campaigns unleashed against Europe can be explained in two words: Masonry and Communism... we have to extirpate these two evils from our land." -Franco


    Offline Last Tradhican

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 05:57:51 PM »
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  • I did. I understand the Advent candle innovation. My point is that the wreath is a pre-Christian Norse tradition.
    A plain wreath maybe, but an advent wreath with candles, is a Protestant tradition. 
    The Vatican II church - Assisting Souls to Hell Since 1962

    For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Mat 24:24

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 07:02:18 PM »
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  • .
    So now Advent wreaths are evil and if you use one you're certainly inviting the devil into your home, eh?
    .
    Have you ever thought about trying not to scandalize children with wild and scary stories?
    .
    Or is dogmatic sedevacantism just erupting in all manner of odd ways?
    .
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    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 07:13:32 PM »
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  • Quote
     It became the practice for Protestant temples and homes in the U.S. to use four red candles, and for Catholics to use the purple and pink candles. Some Anglicans, who also adopted the custom in the early 1900s, use blue or white. 

     In the spirit of ecumenism, today we find many progressivist Catholic churches abandoning the purple and pink and choosing all white or red candles. 
    .
    And in Jewish homes, blue AND white candles are used, usually in groups of 7 or 9.
    .

    .
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    Offline LeDeg

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 07:10:20 PM »
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  • .
    So now Advent wreaths are evil and if you use one you're certainly inviting the devil into your home, eh?
    .
     
    Not at all. I love wreaths, as it is a reminder of my Teutonic heritage.
    "The whole secret of the campaigns unleashed against Europe can be explained in two words: Masonry and Communism... we have to extirpate these two evils from our land." -Franco

    Offline Nadir

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 08:03:00 PM »
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  • I have no dislike of the Advent wreath per se, but what I really hated, when I was attending NO, was the lighting of the Advent wreath to replace the penitential rite.  :facepalm:

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 08:22:55 PM »
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  • Not at all. I love wreaths, as it is a reminder of my Teutonic heritage.
    .
    Didn't the Teutonic sink in 1912?
    .
    Oh, I know, next it will be stockings on the mantle come from the Druids.
    .
    Then See's Candies are Protestant (Mary See was not a devotee of her namesake).
    .
    Then Fruit Cake is from an obscure Pagan tradition.
    .
    Then the Nutcracker is Communist (because Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was Russian).
    .
    Then the Little Match Girl was a Lutheran tradition (Hans Christian Andersen).
    .
    Then Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was an invention of Hallmark.
    .
    Or, was it Currier and Ives -- no, that was Good King Wenceslas.
    .
                                                 
    .
    But they'll never take away my Baileys
    .
                 
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    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 08:36:04 PM »
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  • .
    I can almost hear the resonant "glug-glug" sound it makes when you first pour out from a newly opened bottle.
    .
    Wonderful.
    .
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    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 08:54:26 PM »
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  • Although this Christmassy piece of decoration doesn´t exist since [hasn't existed for] a long time: In the year 1839, so goes the historical tradition, the first Advent wreath was set up by Johann Wichern. The evangelic-Lutheran theologian and educator was the leader of the “Rauhes Haus,” a house in the suburbs of Hamburg that was and still is the home for children and teenagers without parents. [Let's see: that would be an orphanage.]
    .
    I would think it's more likely that a Catholic man came up with the idea but he was too afraid of being called a heretic by Last Tradician, so he tried to keep it quiet. But when his second cousin twice removed, Johann Wichern, an evangelic Lutheran, found out about it, Johann didn't hesitate to go public with it because he thought it was a great idea, just like Lutheranism!
    .
     
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    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 09:05:36 PM »
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  • I have no dislike of the Advent wreath per se, but what I really hated, when I was attending NO, was the lighting of the Advent wreath to replace the penitential rite.  :facepalm:
    .
    What I'd like to know about is, how did you like dressing up like "Pilgrims" (Puritans) for Thanksgiving Day Mass?
    .
    And the big ol' pumpkin patch in front of the altar (where the Trad priest would have to stand but he didn't because he wasn't).
    .
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    Offline Nadir

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    Re: Advent Wreath - a Protestant Innnovation
    « Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 10:14:22 PM »
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  • You're asking me - an Aussie. We don't participate in that Thanksgiving stuff! :furtive: 

     

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