The Advent Wreath

The Advent wreath, or Advent crown, is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western church. It is traditionally a Lutheran practice, although it is celebrated in many Christian denominations.

In 1893, a Lutheran minister fashioned the first Advent wreath out of a wagon wheel, placing twenty small red candles and four large candles in the ring. The red candles were lit on weekdays and the four white candles were lit on Sundays.

Advent Wreath: As I Light This Flame I Lay Myself Before Thee
Advent Wreath: As I Light This Flame I Lay Myself Before Thee

Today we use a circle of evergreens, or metal, and four to five candles.

Often, the first, second, and fourth candles are purple; the third candle is rose-colored. Sometimes all the candles are red; in other traditions, all four candles are blue or white. Occasionally, a fifth white candle is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Look here for advent candles.

We are proud to boast the largest collection of advent wreaths. Our collection of five advent wreaths include our most popular Celtic collection of three wreaths. Our “As I light This Flame” advent wreath is made of solid bronze and finished with enameled colors. The interior arms form a Celtic Cross and are decorated with knot work adapted from the book of Kells.

Advent Wreath Symbolism

  • Evergreen wreath (symbolizing God’s never ending love & eternal life)
  • Four candles in the wreath (representing four Christian themes)
  • One candle in the middle (representing Christ)
  • Holly berries (representing the blood of Christ)
  • Pinecones (representing new life in Jesus through resurrection)

The Advent Wreath in Church Liturgy

“It is now, at Advent, that I am given the chance to suspend all expectation…and instead to revel in the mystery.” ― Jerusalem Jackson Greer

The custom of lighting the candles of the Advent Wreath originated in family settings, but now is widespread in public worship, also, and follows four themes, corresponding to the four candles, which symbolize the Light of The World coming through the birth of Christ. The fifth candle is The Christ Candle, and reminds us that He is the Light of the World, shining in dark places and allowing us to live in the Light as we follow Him.

Advent Wreath: Celtic Knot Antique Silver Finish
Advent Wreath: Celtic Knot Antique Silver Finish

Each week, one more candle is lit, adding more light, until all four are lit the Sunday before Christmas. This four week process allows us to experience darkness, then growing amounts of light as we anticipate the full Light of World, God incarnate, at His birth, when we light the Christ candle (Christmas Eve or Christmas Day).

Different religious groups define the candles differently, but the meaning stays the same. A marriage of Remembrance (Christ’s First Coming) and Anticipation (Christ’s Second Coming).

Over the course of the four weeks, Scripture readings move from passages about Christ’s return in judgment to Old Testament passages about the expectation of the coming Messiah to New Testament passages about the announcements of Christ’s arrival by John the Baptist and the Angels.

Traditional advent themes for the four advent Sundays are:

  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Joy
  • Peace

When is Advent?

It is celebrated in the church over four Sundays, following four themes of Advent, from the end of November to Christmas Eve.

Advent this year starts on Sunday, November 29 and ends on Thursday, December 24.

Advent Through The Centuries

While many know that Advent serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birthday, which, of course, is celebrated on December 25th, when we look at church history we see a deeper meaning behind this season on the liturgical calendar.

The Latin word adventus means “coming”, and in more recent church tradition we celebrate Advent as a looking forward to the birth of Christ.

However, if we zoom out on the liturgical calendar we see that after Christmas is the January feast of Epiphany, which is the celebration of God’s incarnation (birth and baptism). Early Christians would spend 40 days in repentance of sins, prayer and fasting to prepare for to celebrate this “coming”.

Fast forward a century to the 6th century, and you see Roman Christians tied Advent to the second coming of Christ, when Jesus returned to judge to world.

It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas. And this is how we celebrate it today.

Christian philosopher, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, says it best when he describes the mystery and comfort that Advent season brings to Christian souls: “The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.”

Other Ways to Celebrate Advent

An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas, especially if you have children in the home.

Invest in a reusable calendar that allows you to fill a cavity (behind a little door to open each day) with a small toy or candy, and watch little hearts fill with wonder and anticipation in the great countdown to Christmas.

Who Was Martin Luther?

Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated, finally, in what we now call the Protestant Reformation – which would give rise to Protestantism as the third major force within Christendom, alongside Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

An heir of Bishop Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther is one of the most significant figures in Christian history.

Notably, this 16th century law student, turned Augustinian monk, became the center of a great controversy after his theses were copied and distributed throughout Europe. Initially protesting the pope’s attempt to sell salvation, Luther’s study of Scripture soon led him to oppose the church of Rome on issues including the primacy of the Bible, over church tradition, and the means by which we are found righteous in the sight of God.

This last issue is probably Luther’s most significant contribution to Christian theology. Though preached clearly in the New Testament and found in the writings of many of the church fathers, the medieval bishops and priests had largely forgotten the truth that our own good works can by no means merit God’s favor. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, and good works result from our faith, they are not added to it as the grounds for our right standing in the Lord’s eyes (Eph. 2:8-10). Justification, God’s declaration that we are not guilty, forgiven of sin, and righteous in His sight comes because through our faith alone the Father imputes, or reckons to our account, the perfect righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).

Martin Luther’s rediscovery of this truth led to a whole host of other church and societal reforms and much of what we take for granted in the West would have likely been impossible had he never graced the scene.

  • Luther’s translation of the Bible into German put the Word of God in the hands of the people, and today Scripture is available in the vernacular language of many countries, enabling lay people to study it with profit.
  • He reformed the Latin mass by putting the liturgy in the common tongue so that non-scholars could hear and understand the preached word of God and worship the Lord with clarity.
  • Luther lifted the unbiblical ban on marriage for the clergy and by his own teaching and example radically transformed the institution itself.
  • He recaptured the biblical view of the priesthood of all believers, showing all people that their work had purpose and dignity because in it they can serve their Creator.

Today, Luther’s legacy lives on in the creeds and confessions of Protestant bodies worldwide. Many celebrate the importance of The Reformation with their own Reformation Day Celebrations.

The Luther Seal or Luther Rose is a widely recognized symbol for Lutheranism. It was the seal that was designed for Martin Luther at the behest of John Frederick of Saxony in 1530. Luther saw it as a compendium or expression of his theology and faith, which he used to authorize his correspondence. You can find the Luther Rose in many of our products.

Let the bravery that was the undergirding for his famous words, live on in us.

“I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”

Martin Luther

Claddagh Crosses

Claddagh Crosses are of Irish origin; worn as jewelry, and also seen in engravings and art forms. Sometimes confused with Celtic Crosses, which depict the Celtic Circle of Everlasting Life, the Claddagh Cross hosts a Claddagh Ring.

Claddagh Cross Symbolism

The Claddagh Cross is a 16th century Irish symbol of eternal love and friendship. The heart at the center of the design is symbolic of love, the hands around it symbolize friendship, while the crowns represent everlasting loyalty.

The Linguistic Background of Claddagh

The word Claddagh is the anglicized form of the gaelic ‘Cladach’, old-Irish for ‘flat stony shore’, and comes from the ancient fishing village of Claddagh, in Co. Galway, Ireland. The town itself is named after the stoney seashore on which it was built.

One of the oldest fishing towns in Ireland, nothing now remains of the old thatched cottages that graced Claddagh until the 1930s, when they were replaced by council houses and other more modern homes, and yet the memory of the small Irish-speaking town’s traditions and customs still lives on. Bing Crosby sang about it in the lovely song, Galway Bay.

Claddagh CrossesThe Claddagh ring may be classified as a “fede ring” — a design basically invented by the ancient Romans. Mani in fede is Italian for “hands joined in faith” (or “…in loyalty”, “…in trust”) and refers to the bezel of the ring being shaped like clasped hands. In Roman culture, people would clasp hands whenever they made a pledge.

Here’s how to pronounce this Gaelic word: Claddagh

The gaelic spelling of the word tells us that ‘Cladach’ was originally pronounced [klad-ukh] and sounded out with a hard, guttural ending common to Irish words. The word is now more commonly pronounced without the ‘gaelic touch’ as [klad-uh].

Legend Has It…

According to legend, the story of the Claddagh cross began in a small fishing village in Ireland called Claddagh, which is located just on the outskirts of the city of Galway. Traditionally, men of the village would sail out into the sea to catch fish for food meant for their families. However, the sea was fraught with dangers; there were bands of pirates along with high tides and strong currents.

Richard Joyce, a young fisherman from the village, went out for this fishing expedition when a gang of Moorish pirates captured him. On boarding Richard’s boat, the pirates found a few fishes and held him as hostage.

The pirates forced Richard to join their band, after which the young fisherman ended up becoming a slave in Algiers. There, he worked to melt the gold that the pirates plundered. Later, he was bestowed with the task to mold the molten gold into fashionable pieces of medallions and jewelry—something that armed him with the skill of a goldsmith.

In 1689, Richard was released and made his way back to Ireland. On reaching Ireland, he married a girl and started his goldsmith and jewelry-making business with her. Richard’s specialty was a ring that was embedded with a heart.

Since this symbol originated in the village called Claddagh, his jewelry later went on to be called Claddagh jewelry. The Claddagh cross with this design is a symbol of Richard’s love for his wife and their shared Christian faith.

Claddagh crosses have long been the traditional symbol of God’s love, loyalty and friendship in the West of Ireland for generations. You can learn more about the history of Claddagh crosses here.

So many reasons to give the gift of Claddagh Crosses in its many forms…
  • Claddagh CrossDo you wish to give the Claddagh cross pendant to your beloved and eternalize your love? Our sterling silver Claddagh ring pendant is a romantic gesture that will be treasured forever.
  • Perhaps you would like to celebrate your Gaelic heritage by gifting family members with a Claddagh ring pin?
  • Our exclusive Claddagh cross necklace is a wonderful tribute to your faith and is widely popular in church settings.
  • Welcome friends and loved ones to your home with our beautiful large 5″ antiqued gold plated solid bronze Claddagh door knocker. Is there a more perfect way to give entrance than through the symbolism of love, loyalty and friendship?
Do have a favorite memory involving the Claddagh cross? We’d love to hear from you below.

House Blessings

Blessing is a theme that stretches from Genesis to Revelation in the Scriptures. In 1 Samuel 25:6 it instructs us, “And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.” Imagine how lovely it would be to greet your friends in this way as you enter their home for a night of fellowship, or upon entering it for the first time? Consider what a gift that would be for them to receive such a blessing. They would never forget it. What if you could leave them a visual memento of blessing to hang in their home as a house blessing?

House Blessings: A History

house blessingFor centuries, many different cultures have done something strikingly similar to their dwellings: they bless their homes. In the first Century A.D., some early Christians believed sanctifying their homes would ward off evil spirits. Jewish tradition calls for the affixing of a mezuzah, which is construed as a device protecting against the divine anger, in order to fulfill the mitzvah (Biblical commandment) to “write the words of God on the gates and doorposts of your house” (Deuteronomy 6:9).

Fast forward to today, you will see a wide variety of house blessings conducted by both clergy, as well as home owners. From the very private to public settings, like reality TV.

Every dwelling space for humans deserves a house blessing, no matter the size, location or socio-economic status.

When to Do a House Blessing

Existing homes can be blessed, and re-blessed, and new homes can be blessed before being moved into.

House blessings have been a part of Habitat for Humanity since its inception in 1976. “The new homeowners are there from start to finish, so when it comes time to bless the home it’s like baptizing a new baby,” says Jessica Grybek, marketing and PR coordinator for Habitat.

We talked to a number of people who have written blessings on the studs and subflooring, in their new homes, before the next stage of construction was started, and finished up with a home blessing ceremony before they moved in.

A House Blessing Prayer

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’” (Luke 10:5). This is a basic Jewish greeting, translated from, “Shalom,” meaning, “May G-d cause all to be well with you.” It was a blessing that was also an implicit prayer and was said as members of the early church entered homes, which was the only safe place to preach without fear.

How often do we pray for our own homes / households in this way?

A house blessing prayer isn’t just for the four walls and the roof that we live under. The idea of this ancient prayer is more of a prayer for the inhabitants, the lineage and the goodly heritage. The past, the present and the future. Ancient Jewish tradition states that blessings are passed down to the third and fourth generation.

Would we do this more often if we have a visual reminder to do so, such as a door knocker, entrance plaque or wall cross?

House Blessing Prayers

House Blessings Scriptures

May God Keep Your Home Safe

Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

Welcome God Into Your Home

2 Chronicles 7:15-16 “Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.”

Let Your Home be Based on Hard Work

Proverbs 24:27 “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.”

May Your Home Be Peaceful

1 Samuel 25:6 “And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.”

May You Dwell In Your Home for Many Years

1 Kings 8:13 “I have indeed built you an exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever.”

Let Your Home Have Peace

Luke 10:5 “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’”

House Blessing Ceremony

If you’re going to invest thousands of dollars in the roof over your family’s head, why not invest time to perform a sacred ceremony to set the tone for your life in your home?

house blessingsWhile no one religion lays claim to the house blessing rite, it’s often associated with Christianity. A typical Christian blessing involves prayer and the sprinkling of holy water. But it can also involve a confession of sins and anointing entryways with oil.

House blessings are often performed when homeowners move into new homes, but they can be performed at any time and for any reason. As you consider the type of ceremony that you would like to create for the blessing of your home, here are some thoughts to stir your heart.

In Proverbs 24:3-4, we read, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”

Building a house can be compared to building a life.

  • Laying a firm foundation set upon good soil that will settle well through the years, while remaining solid.
  • What is between the studs of a home (out of sight) is the power and ventilation, much like knowledge is power, and understanding is the fresh air of relationships.
  • The walls of a home provide structure, as well as creating communal spaces and bedrooms, just like the push and pull of healthy relationships create the proper tension between giving and receiving, dependence and independence, and openness and privacy.
  • The décor sets the tone for the life to be lead in your home, and precious and pleasant riches can be anything from the coziness you create, your grandmother’s dishes, and, of course, the precious children you raise.
How You Can Incorporate House Blessings in Your Daily Life

We live busy lives and sometimes our focus on the mundane takes over the attention to the sacred. Visual reminders, such as wall crosses and plaques to door/entrance blessing and door knockers, are a great way to keep us mindful of our dependence on God, from whom all blessings flow. They also make great house warming gifts.

Don’t forget to send your students off to dorm life with a house blessing to remind them of God’s provision and protection away from home, and of the family they came from to keep them grounded as they venture into adult life.

Do you have home blessing traditions in your family, or have you attended a memorable house blessing ceremony? We’d love to hear about it below.

Celtic Crosses

The cross, the principal symbol of the Christian religion, recalls the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the redeeming benefits of his Passion and death. The cross is thus a sign both of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians. Throughout Christian tradition you will see many forms of the cross including Celtic crosses, Greek crosses, Latin crosses, and Jerusalem crosses. In looking at the design of these symbols of faith, some crosses, such as the Latin cross, are simple in design, while others, including the Jerusalem and Celtic crosses are more elaborate.

Celtic Crosses: Its Unique Design Style

The Celtic cross features a cross with a ring, or nimbus, circling the intersection, and a small circle in each corner.

It is a beautiful example of Insular art, also known as Hiberno-Saxon art, which was created in Ireland and Britain in the post Roman Empire era, circa 600 AD. The Latin word for island is insula, thus the term Insular art.

This art produced on the British Isles during the Migration Period art movement and the Early Medieval Western art period shared a common style that was different from that produced in the rest of Europe. What makes it unique is that it combines those two art styles into one.

The Insular style is most famous for its very intricate decoration, which includes spirals, circles and other geometric motifs. You can see that influence in the circle in the Celtic cross.

Other examples of this art style can be seen in the Book of Kells, and other finely illuminated manuscripts, metalwork and carvings in stone.

The influence of insular art affected all subsequent European medieval art, especially in the decorative elements of Romanesque and Gothic manuscripts.

The finest period of the style was brought to an end by the disruption to monastic centers by Viking raids, which began in the late 8th century.

The High Crosses of Ireland

celtic crossesPagan Celts were in the habit of raising memorial stones. The original High Celtic cross of Ireland is distinguished by four little circles that appear at the junctions of the arms of the cross, and the four arms of the cross narrow at their base to form the circle shape. Four circles in this early design strongly suggest solar references, either diurnal or seasonal.

As Irish missionaries came to the area, they took over the tradition and the designs started to show Christian themes and the addition of the ring around the intersection formed what we now know as the Celtic cross.

Interestingly, some art historians theorize that the design of the Celtic cross was Tall Cross at Monasterboice, County Louthpragmatic, rather than stylistic, as standing crosses were made in stone and needed the added strength of the circle to support the weight of the cross beams, which proved to be advantage of survival compared to other forms of the cross that have only survived as shafts.

When considering the height of some of these high crosses, you can see why the structure needed to be reinforced by the circle. Earlier crosses were typically up to about two metres or eight feet high, but in Ireland examples up to three times higher appear later, retaining thick massive proportions, giving large surface areas for carving. The tallest of the Irish crosses is the Tall Cross at Monasterboice, County Louth. It stands at seven metres or twenty-two feet high. It is a great example of the original design with the four circles in the four corners.

Some crosses were erected just outside churches and monasteries; others at sites that may have marked boundaries or crossroads, or preceded churches. Celtic crosses do not seem to have been used as grave-markers in the early medieval period, but by the 19th century Celtic crosses, with decoration in a form of insular style, became very popular as gravestones and memorials, and are now found in several hundreds of cemeteries across Scotland, Wales, Europe, and several other countries.

The Symbolism of the Circle in the Celtic Cross

There are different interpretations of the circle in the Celtic cross. Some presume that it represents the halo of Jesus Christ. Others are under the impression that St. Patrick borrowed the circular pattern from the pagan’s sun-god symbol and combined it with the cross of Christ to represent God’s life and light. It is clear from archeological evidence that the Celtic Cross evolved over time.

The Significance of the Celtic Cross Today

Today, you can see the design in both Celtic Crosses (the Irish version) and the Presbyterian Cross (the Scottish version), which doesn’t feature the four small circles.

Both Presbyterian and Catholic priests find that the Celtic Cross holds a lot of meaning. They believe that the circle is symbolic of eternity – the eternal and everlasting love of God, demonstrated by His sacrifice on the cross for our sins.

Today, the Celtic Cross is also characteristic of hope, life, honor, unity, faith, balance, ascension, navigation, temperance, and transition.

Celtic Crosses for Catholics

We have a wide variety of Gaelic crosses, Claddagh crosses, High Cross of Ireland, Celtic Religious jewelry, Celtic Cross pendants, and chains at the Terra Sancta Guild. The crosses are available in sterling silver, and there’s even an antiqued bronze with an intricate Celtic knot cross design that comes with a 24” bronze-plated chain. You’ll even find a Celtic pocket prayer with an ancient Irish benediction.

The Celtic Cross is also available as house-blessings, wall crosses in solid bronze, youth crosses, gold-plated Celtic Cross pins, keepsake boxes, bookmarks, Claddagh door knockers, personal journals, and several types of Celtic religious jewelry.

How do you use the Celtic Cross as part of your faith celebration? We’d love to hear from you below.

Jerusalem Crosses

Jerusalem CrossesThe cross is one of the central themes in Christianity. Greek crosses, Latin crosses, Celtic crosses, and Jerusalem crosses are just a few examples of the different types of crosses created throughout the history of the Catholic faith.

Some crosses, such as the Latin cross, are simple in design, while others, including the Celtic and Jerusalem crosses are more elaborate. Nowhere is the symbolism of the cross more potent than in Jerusalem crosses, with their four crosses in the corners of the emblem, surrounding the central cross.

Jerusalem Crosses (also known as the Crusader’s Cross)

Dating back to heraldic times, Jerusalem Crosses were the emblem and coat of arms of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (Latin: Regnum Hierosolymitanum; Old French: Roiaume de Jherusalem), circa the 11th and 12th century, when Crusaders captured Jerusalem, establishing Christianity in the area.

The kingdom was ethnically, religiously, and linguistically diverse, although the crusaders themselves and their descendants were an elite Catholic minority. They imported many customs and institutions from their homelands in Western Europe, and as most Crusaders came from France, the official language of the kingdom was langue d’oeil, which was then spoken in northern France and by the Normans.

From this, you can see the geographical and religious influences of the time that created this heraldic emblem that is still used (mostly) in Catholic tradition today.

The Design of the Jerusalem Cross

jerusalem crossesAlso known as the Five-Fold Cross, or “cross-and-crosslets”, Jerusalem crosses are a variant of the cross and consists of a large cross that is surrounded by four smaller Greek crosses – one in each of the quadrant formed by the larger cross.

There are variants to the design, also known as Jerusalem Cross, with either the four crosslets also in the form of Crosses potent, or conversely with the central cross also in the form of a plain Greek cross.

It is not to be confused with the Lorraine cross, which has sometimes been called the “Jerusalem cross”.

This same symbol was adopted as the coat of arms and the emblem of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from the 1280s. The Jerusalem cross was given by Pope Urban II to the crusaders in the Middle ages. It was then adopted by the Crusaders and is, therefore also known as the ‘Crusader’s Cross.’

Jerusalem Crosses: The Significance

There are various takes on what the heraldic emblem represents. The red of the cross symbolizes God’s sacrifice for man.

The Four Gospels

One is that the four smaller crosses in each of the quadrants made up by the bigger cross represent the authors of the gospels – Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. These writers also helped spread the word of Jesus in the four corners of the world.


Today these four crosses or crosslets are viewed as a symbol of Christ’s command to spread the Gospel around the world – a mission that was started in Jerusalem.


It is also viewed as a combination of the teachings of the Old Testament (the four Tau crosses) and the teachings of the New Testament (the four Greek crosses).

The Five Wounds of Christ

Another symbolism is the representation of the five wounds of Christ. The smaller crosses represent the wounds on Christ’s feet and hands, and the larger central cross represents the wound inflicted by a soldier’s spear.

The Eight Beatitudes

Today, many believers wear the Jerusalem Cross as a sign of commitment to the eight Beatitudes – the way that Jesus Christ taught us to reach the kingdom of heaven.

Sightings of Jerusalem Crosses Today in Jerusalem

You can still see those Crusader influences in Israel today, particularly in Jerusalem, there are more churches and institutions belonging to different Christian denominations than in any other place in the world. You will see Jerusalem Crosses for sale at many souvenir shops there, due to its continued appeal as the Pilgrim’s Cross.

The Custody of the Holy Land (Custodia Terrae Sanctae)

jerusalem crossThe Custody of the Holy Land belongs to the Franciscan Order and its mission is to guard the holy sites of the Catholic Church in the Middle East.

In the order’s coat of arms, you will see a crown symbolizing the Father and ruler of heaven. Under the crown is a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit. The bare arm belongs to Jesus and the sleeved one to St. Francis. On the palms of the hands you can see a small cut that symbolizes the nail in Christ’s hand and the marks of the stigmata – the wounds where nails pierced Christ’s body. Below this is the Jerusalem Cross. The inscription “S. Mons Sion in Jerusalem” refers to one of the main Franciscan sites in Jerusalem – Mount Zion. Two branches wrap around the lower part of the symbol. One is an olive tree branch that symbolizes Jesus as the Messiah (his body was anointed with olive oil) and the other is a palm branch. Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem by people holding palm branches in the last week of his life.

The Flag of the Georgia Republic

Jerusalem cross on the flag of the Georgian RepublicDid you know that the flag of the Georgia Republic also features the Jerusalem Cross?

The current flag was used by the Georgian patriotic movement following the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By the late 1990s, the design had become widely known as the Georgian historical national flag as vexillologists had pointed out the red-on-white Jerusalem cross shown as the flag of Tbilisi in a 14th-century map by Domenico and Francesco Pizzigano.

A majority of Georgians, including the influential Catholicos-Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, supported the restoration of the flag and in 1999 the Parliament of Georgia passed a bill to change the flag.

Have You Seen Our Beautiful Jerusalem Crosses?

Jerusalem Crosses are a popular choice among those who are looking for a symbolic way to express their faith and remind them of Jesus’ connection to the Holy Land.

Please see our wide variety of Jerusalem cross pendants and chains. The crosses are available in sterling silver, antiqued polished bronze, gold plated with gemstones. The Jerusalem Cross is also available as lapel pins, keepsake boxes, pocket prayer, bookmarks, letter openers, door knockers, paperweights, golf kits, and more.

They make wonderful gifts for relationship building and student spiritual development. You can give away these lovely and meaningful crosses at high school retreats or simply keep one for yourself to help you during times of reflection.

How do you use the Jerusalem Cross as part of your faith celebration? We’d love to hear from you below.

Reformation Day Celebration

Do you know what is so significant about the 31st of October? No, I am not thinking about ‘Halloween’, but rather the anniversary of the official start of the Reformation. Five hundred and one years ago, on the 31st October 1517, [[[Martin Luther]]] posted his “95 Theses” on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, which sparked the Reformation and gave birth to the Protestant Church.

Reformation Day commemorates what was perhaps the greatest move of God’s Spirit since the days of the Apostles. But what is the significance of Reformation Day?

Let’s go back in time…

If you lived next door to the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany on that fateful day, would you have heard the sound of a hammer striking the door and written it off as a craftsman making a repair? Could you have ever imagined that the blows of the hammer would soon be heard around the world and lead ultimately to the greatest transformation of Western society since the apostles first preached the Gospel throughout the Roman empire?

Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation.

Celebrating Reformation Day

The holiday is a significant one for both Lutheran and Calvinist Churches, although other Protestant communities also tend to commemorate the day. The Roman Catholic Church recognized it only recently, and often sends its official representatives in ecumenical spirit to various commemoration events held by Protestants. It is lawfully and officially recognized in some states of Germany and sovereign countries of Slovenia and Chile. In addition, countries like Switzerland and Austria provide specifics in laws pertaining to Protestant churches, while not officially proclaiming it a nationwide holiday.

Celebrating the holiday with your family or church is a great way to learn about the history of the protestant faith.

Reformation Day Activities

Here’s a collection of ideas for celebrating Reformation Day with your family, home school group or church:

  • Sing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” by Martin Luther. This hymn is based on Psalm 46. Here are three versions: Hip Hop style, a rousing choir anthem, worship-style by Matt Boswell.
  • Have a snack of gummy “worms” to celebrate the Diet of Worms (pronounced Verms). The Diet of Worms was a trial (called a Diet) before church leaders in Worms, Germany.
  • Nail (or rather, tape) the 95 Theses to a door or a piece of wood.
  • Memorize the 5 Solas.
  • Make a lavender sachet to ward off the Bubonic Plague.
  • Learn about Martin Luther’s seal, [[[Luther’s Rose]]]. Print and color this seal.
  • Use this tutorial to make a tissue paper stained glass, which was common during this time period.
  • Write with a quill and ink as Luther would have written.
  • Home schoolers might like to put together a Reformation Unit Study Lapbook.
  • Churches can host “A Night of Reformation

Some fun party favors might include:

How do you celebrate Reformation Day? We’d love to hear from you below.