Sunday, December 9, 2007

Plants in our Advent Wreath.

Wet, wet, wet on this second Sunday of Advent.

The Advent wreath is a circle to remind us of God's love which never ends. Evergreen branches in the wreath and Christmas trees are symbols of everlasting life. The advent wreath we began last Sunday had a nice base of evergreens. To that we added a bundle of mature ivy (Hedera helix) with berries and also some berried Holly (Ilex aquifolium). The ancients believed evergreens to be symbols of the continuity of life through the dark days of winter. The plants verdant foliage has decorated homes at midwinter solstice since pre-Christian times. Early Christians saw in the spiny leaves of the holly the crown of thorns, the red berries symbolized for them the blood of Christ. Ivy was believed to lessen the influence of wine, as well as assisting in predicting the future. In folklore, both plants are powerful protectors against evil.

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