Live Materials Only
Creating an advent wreath that will last through five worship services over several weeks can be a challenge. An advent wreath has four candles around the perimeter, one for each Sunday in the advent season. A large, central candle is lit on Christmas day. The central candle is white. The four other candles can be purple or blue. Often, the third candle, representing joy, is pink. Typically, the wreath materials beyond the altar rail should be only live greenery, live flowers, or dried material. Because the wreath is used for over a month, the greenery and flowers in the wreath will need to be watered and sometimes replaced as they fade with time.
Advent wreaths can be purchased with an Oasis® ring for foliage, but custom foam rings are expensive. The ring is often small and dries out quickly. You can create your own water reservoir ring using foil or plastic and larger pieces of floral foam. Half-blocks of Oasis® are more substantial than custom wreath foam structures. Oasis® is heavy when it is wet! Be sure to use a sturdy, solid pedestal or table to support the wreath. Attach wire ties on the wreath form at equal intervals, and use them to tie down and secure the wet Oasis® half-blocks. The wire stem ties can be joined and twisted around the top of the Oasis®, with any excess wire hidden by the foliage. The wreath in the picture has three tiers of pine cones that hang over a circular brass pedestal. The top tier of pine cones rise above the Oasis® blocks to hide the floral foam from view. Using standard floral foam half-blocks is a solution for an advent wreath that can go the distance. By having a substantial amount of wet Oasis® around the top of an advent wreath, maintaining the wreath over several weeks is quick and trouble-free.
An advent wreath will need receptacles to hold the candles. Keeping the candles upright, secure, and plumb is an important part of maintaining the beauty of the wreath. You can edit or change the greenery each week during waterings, for additional interest. Grooming and maintaining healthy, live foliage in an advent wreath is a way to provide meaning and symbolism to the Christmas season.