Free gatherings to make Advent wreaths are traditionally held at different Maine churches to prepare for Advent, the four-week period leading up to Christmas that is a time of preparation for the celebration of the Lord’s birth in which Christians celebrate the way the Lord comes into our lives each day, according to a news release from Dave Guthro, communications director, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

During the pandemic, the events will take on slightly different looks this year as events are added, they will be included in the Special Events section at portlanddiocese.org.

Advent wreath making workshops will be held at two St. Michael Parish churches on Sunday, Nov. 22. A workshop will be held at 9 a.m.  in the hall of St. Francis Xavier Church on 130 Route 133 in Winthrop. Another workshop will be hosted at 11 a.m. in the hall of Sacred Heart Church, located on 14 Summer St. in Hallowell. All are welcome at either workshop. A $10 donation to pay for materials is requested. Please bring your own gardening shears and wire cutters. Refreshments will be served. To RSVP to attend, call 207-623-8823 or  email [email protected].

In addition, St. John Paul II Parish will make advent wreath making kits available in Scarborough, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth. The kits include live greens from Broadway Gardens in South Portland, Advent candles, a wreath ring, wire, and devotional materials. To place an order, call Amanda Meir at 603-969-4009 or email [email protected].

The kits will be available for pickup at:
• Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road, South Portland
3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, and 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

• St. Bartholomew Church, 8 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth
10 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

• St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road, Scarborough
11:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

A donation of $10 to defray costs would be appreciated.

According to the release, Advent wreaths traditionally consist of a circle of evergreen branches with four candles, three purple and one pink or rose colored. During Advent, candles are progressively lit week by week, beginning with a single purple candle. During the second week, two purple candles are lit, followed by two purple candles and the pink candle during the third week, and then all four candles. The rose-colored or pink candle coincides with the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), on which the priest also wears pink or rose. It is a time of celebration, noting that Advent is nearing completion and Christmas is near.

The blessing of an Advent Wreath traditionally takes place on the First Sunday of Advent (Nov. 29, 2020) or on the evening before the First Sunday of Advent. When the blessing of the Advent Wreath is celebrated in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another member of the family. To view a blessing from “Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers,” visit portlanddiocese.org.