ADVENT IN THE BAPTIST BUCKLE OF THE BIBLE BELT
My roommate is Presbyterian and I was raised Methodist, so we are both familiar with the concept of Advent. Baptists observe the Christmas season, but do not necessarily observe the traditions of Advent. Advent is the season leading up to Christmas Day, and is intended for our reflection and anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Christ. Advent is celebrated starting the fourth Sunday before Christmas, so it started this past weekend. Traditionally, Advent involves a wreath with 5 cancles (4 royal purple and 1 white or 3 royal purple, 1 pink and 1 white). The first purple one was lit Sunday and the white one will be lit Christmas Day.
2 years ago, most of my roommate’s belongings were scattered across interstate 59 during rush hour because the truck that was transporting her belongings was hit by a bigger truck (and he had no insurance). 90% of my roommate’s belongings were gone, including all of her Christmas decorations (not to mention clothes, yearbooks, pictures, etc). This year, she has managed to replace most of her Christmas decor, including a grand artificial pre-lit tree. In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, she decides that it’s time to replace her advent wreath.
Since we live in the Baptist buckle of the Bible belt, an Advent wreath has been difficult to find. Most of the responses we’ve gotten as we’ve gone from Christmas shop to craft store are, “Advent what?” I was about to suggest a trip to Cokesbury, a Methodist bookstore here in town when we got a positive response at Michael’s, a craft store near our house. They actually had the makings of an Advent wreath, at least the base with the four candle holders (the fifth candle is placed in the center of the wreath). Jene’ wasn’t sure she could decorate around this base so she opted for a plain wreath and some candle holders and a few berry wreaths to wrap around the candles. It’s a great wreath.