"It is now the hour for you to awaken from sleep, for our salvation is nearer now than we first believed." Romans 13:12.
Although no one is quite sure of how the tradition of the Advent wreath began, it is thought to have started as a pagan fire wheel.
In Christian tradition the circle symbolizes eternity so it is entirely appropriate to have such a lovely symbol to remind us of the eternal salvation we await at this time. It is also a symbol which children love, it is all light and aroma (if you use real greens) and ritual and even the youngest of children love form and ritual.
Make a point of having an wreath ceremony with your children every Sunday. Before your evening meal (or midday if that is when you are all together) have dad begin.
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.
Then have one of the children light the first purple candle. Each evening during the week the floowing prayer is said by dad or mom.
O Lord, stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, and come that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins and saved by Thy deliverance. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then light the purple candle for the duration of the meal. As you can see you may need more than one set of candles.
Toward that end you might want to make a "weekday" wreath, for that please check out Dawn's lovely craft. It would be particularly good for those of you with small children gathered around the table if you are nervous about tapers.
Have a blessed Sunday!