The ‘Salve Regina’ meaning ‘Hail Holy Queen’ is an 11th century Marion Hymn sung three days before Advent Sunday, when the mass is replaced by the Gregorian chant ‘Universi qui te expectant.’

Hope is the maxim for this custom that as the Mother of Mercy and Gateway to Heaven, she will bring respite from the toil we endure in this ‘vale of tears’ that is life. Her gift is Hope, hope that manifests in the promise of fulfilment through living a spiritual life endowed with Faith in Her Grace.

Advent Sunday.

Customs include, wreath making, comprised of three blue candles, (sometimes black or violet) a rose candle and sometimes a white central candle for the solar eve itself. Devotional practices associated with the observance of Advent include keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, daily prayers, erecting a Christmas tree or a Chrismon tree, lighting a Christingle, or setting up Christmas decorations, a custom that is sometimes done liturgically through a hanging of the greens ceremony around the home, church or chapel.

Originally a 16th century Lutheran tradition, the modern wreath as we know it was formed in the 18th century, and today adorns the doors of many homes throughout the Yuletide period.

“The wreath crown is traditionally made of fir tree branches knotted with a red ribbon and decorated with pine cones, holly, laurel, and sometimes mistletoe. It is also an ancient symbol signifying several things; first of all, the crown symbolises victory, in addition to its round form evoking the sun and its return each year. The number four represents, in addition to the four weeks of Advent, the four seasons and the four cardinal virtues, and the green colour is a sign of life and hope.

The fir tree is a symbol of strength and laurel a symbol of victory over sin and suffering. The latter two, with the holly, do not lose their leaves, and thus represent the eternity of God. The flames of candles are the representation of the Christmas light approaching and bringing hope and peace, as well as the symbol of the struggle against darkness. For Christians, this crown is also the symbol of Christ the King, the holly recalling the crown of thorns resting on the head of Christ.” [1]

From the 5th century, Advent has signified a period of fasting broken by the Christmas feast in celebration of the light of Hope.

[1] Wiki

~ by meanderingsofthemuse on November 29, 2019.

One Response to “HOPE”

  1. Thanks Shani for the traditional thoughts, at this time of year…

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