How to Bless Your Advent Wreath

In Seven Simple Steps

Mother and daughter with an Advent wreath.
Mother and daughter with an Advent wreath.

The Advent Wreath: A Popular Custom

The Advent wreath is a popular Advent custom that originated in Germany. It consists of four candles, surrounded by evergreen branches. The light of the candles signifies the light of Christ, Who will come into the world at Christmas.

Many people purchase a new Advent wreath each year, made from fresh evergreen boughs. There are popular artificial wreaths as well that can be used year after year.

Another easy (and inexpensive) option is to make your own Advent wreath.

Once you have your Advent wreath, you will need to bless it. This usually takes place on the first Sunday in Advent, or the night before. (If you cannot bless it on either of those days, the wreath can be blessed whenever possible.) Then, on each night of Advent, a prayer is said, and the appropriate number of candles on the wreath is lit—one candle during the first week; two during the second; etc.

The steps below describe how to bless the Advent wreath.

What You Need

How to Bless Your Advent Wreath

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross

  2. Pray the Responsory

    The father of the family (or other leader) recites the verse, and the family (or group) responds. If you are alone, recite both the verse and the response.

    V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
    R. Who made Heaven and earth.
  1. Optional: Read Isaiah 9:1-2, 5-6

    The father (or other leader) reads this passage from the Prophet Isaiah, familiar to many from Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, which reminds us that Christ is our light, and that His Birth brought us out of the darkness of sin and saved us.

    The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.

    Thou hast multiplied the nation, and hast not increased the joy. They shall rejoice before thee, as they that rejoice in the harvest, as conquerors rejoice after taking a prey, when they divide the spoils.

    For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.

    His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

    • Source: Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition of the Bible (in the public domain)
  1. Pray the Prayer of Blessing

    The father (or other leader) prays the following prayer over the Advent wreath, and the family (or group) replies "Amen."

    O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth thy blessing upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
  2. Sprinkle the Advent Wreath With Holy Water

    The father (or other leader) sprinkles the Advent wreath with holy water.

  3. Optional: Pray the Advent Wreath Prayer for the First Week and Light the First Candle

    While the blessing ceremony can take place at any time, if you are ready to light the first candle, the father (or other leader) leads the family (or group) in the Advent Wreath Prayer for the First Week of Advent and lights the first candle. (For detailed instructions on lighting your Advent wreath, see How to Light the Advent Wreath.)

  4. End With the Sign of the Cross

    • As with all devotions, the lighting of the Advent wreath should end with the Sign of the Cross
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Richert, Scott P. "How to Bless Your Advent Wreath." ThoughtCo, Nov. 28, 2016, thoughtco.com/how-to-bless-your-advent-wreath-542182. Richert, Scott P. (2016, November 28). How to Bless Your Advent Wreath. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-bless-your-advent-wreath-542182 Richert, Scott P. "How to Bless Your Advent Wreath." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-bless-your-advent-wreath-542182 (accessed December 15, 2017).