HALLOWELL– 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.

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 www.portlanddiocese.org).

Advent wreath making workshops will be held at two St. Michael Parish churches on Sunday, Nov. 22. A workshop will be held in the hall of St. Francis Xavier Church, located on 130 Route 133 in Winthrop, at 9 a.m. Another workshop will be hosted in the hall of Sacred Heart Church, located on 14 Summer Street in Hallowell at 11 a.m. 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. If you plan to attend, RSVP at 207-623-8823 or caleigh.mcmanaman@portlanddiocese.org.

In addition, St. John Paul II Parish will be making 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 your order, contact Amanda Meir at 603-969-4009 or amandahuelat@gmail.com. The kits will be available for pickup at:

·       Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road, South Portland

Saturday, Nov. 28, 3 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m.

·       St. Bartholomew Church, 8 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth

Sunday, Nov. 29, 10 a.m.

·       St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road, Scarborough

Sunday, Nov. 29, 11:30 a.m.

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

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) 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 www.portlanddiocese.org/adventwreath.