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Sunday, 29 November 2020

Let us wait together for the Arrival (Latin =’Adventus’) of our King on Christmas Day, Praying for God’s Grace and remembering those who, at this time of anticipation of Joy, have so much less than ourselves.


The tradition of having an Advent Wreath comes from Germany, but is now common in all branches of the Western Christian Church.  There are three Dark Blue Candles and one Pink candle. The Dark Blue colour is the Liturgical Colour of Advent, purple has been used because it was an expensive dye in ancient times only used by Kings and Emperors and so it reminds us that we are waiting for the coming of the King at Christmas. At St Marys we are using a dark blue for Advent, and now keep Purple for Lent. The pink candle is lit on the 3rd Sunday in Advent known as Gaudate Sunday from the psalm Rejoice in the Lord used on that day.


The symbolism of the Wreath

The wreath is a circle of evergreen foliage symbolising everlasting life. It can be made of all types of evergreen leaves including furs, laurel, yew, holly and even camellia or magnolia leaves. In advent it should have minimum other decorations, but of course you can add Christmas decorations on Christmas Eve if you want to!


The symbolism of the Candles

There are a number of traditions about this, but the best known one is probably as follows

1.   The first dark blue candle is for God’s People a symbol of Hope

2.   The second dark blue candle Is for the Old Testament Prophets, the candle of Peace

3.   The third Candle, the pink one is for John the Baptist the candle of Love

4.   The last dark blue candle is for Mary the Mother of Christ the candle of Joy


The White Candle

On Christmas Eve you can add in the center of your Wreath, a White Candle to signify the Light coming into the world with the birth of Jesus.

Making an Advent wreath

You will need a circle of Oasis in a plastic base. This has to be pre soaked in water, you can wrap the oasis in Cling film to help retain water but this is not essential if you can water the oasis regularly.

You also need 4 candle spikes and your candles. 

Place the candle spikes evenly round the Oasis. Then select the evergreen material you want to put in your wreath from the pile on the table. Stick the twig ends into the oasis to form a complete covering. You can add other things such as pine cones, ribbons (dark blue  for advent but change to green red or gold at Christmas) berries (care with small children!) etc, but it should be fairly plain, to reflect the somberness of Advent.


Taking Care of your Advent Wreath

To make the wreath last the 4 weeks of Advent, you will need to water it regularly. Put it on your sink drainer and pour a jug of water over it at least once a week.


Put the wreath on a tray before putting it on furniture to avoid watermarks.


Remember all the greenery is capable of catching fire, so NEVER leave the lit candles unattended and have a Jug of water nearby at all times in case of an accident. You can buy fire retardant spray at some Florists to spray your wreath with.


Do not let children light the candles without the assistance of an Adult.


When should I light my Advent Wreath Candles?

Light one today, next Sunday light 2 and so on until Christmas. It is a nice moment, perhaps on Sunday evening to gather as a family and light the candle and say a short prayer together. Do not burn the candles for too long or the first one will be gone before the end of Advent!! If possible snuff the candles rather than blowing them out to avoid blowing hot wax all over the wreath and your dining room table!!!

Some pictures of our  wreath making afternoons pre Covid!








Service Times

First Sunday in the Month:
10:00am Family Service

Second Sunday in the Month
10:00am Parish Eucharist

Third Sunday in the Month
08:00am Holy Communion (said)
10:00am Sung Matins

Fourth Sunday in the Month
10:00am Parish Eucharist


  • The 8:00am said Holy Communion will recommence for all Sundays beginning Sunday 2nd May 2021

  • Variations can be found in the Parish Magazine or the Calendar at the bottom of this page.

Useful links

Here are some links to resources you may find helpful:

  1. Chichester Cathedral will be live streaming services. For the Eucharist and order of service Click here before 10:00am Sunday and follow the instructions.
  2. The BBC Daily Service is available here.
  3. Prayer for today.
  4. The C of E youtube channel.
  5. Hearing You is a new phone help line launched by the Diocese of Chichester in partnership with Together in Sussex in response to the impact that Covid 19 has had on Just about the whole community. It aims to provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  6. COVID-19 advice from the Diocese of Chichester here.

Please note that St Mary's are not responsible for the contents of external links

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