Don't panic, I know, I know, I lighted all four candles, but it isn't even Advent yet, let alone the 4th week of Advent!
Advent wreathes are one good thing the Lutherans in Germany have given to the Christian world, although I wonder if the Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Rites use them at home or in church?
I remember the advent wreathe in my parish when I was growing up and in pre-Vatican II times. It was placed by Mary's side altar and without ceremony (or in pre-Vatican II times, the lighting of the altar candles was a ceremony) and the candle or candles were lit prior to Mass.
Today, many parishes have elaborate Liturgies of the Blessing and lighting of the Advent wreathe. Some do it as a prelude to the Mass which is okay. Others, illicitly do it by omitting the Penitential Act. Some parishes have families actually carried the candle in procession at the beginning of Mass and place it in the wreathe and a prayer is said by the one member of the family who can read well publicly, or not read well publicly. I think that is a bit too fussy for a Lutheran product, no?
Some wreathes have a center "Christ" candle which is lit only at Christmas and the other candles removed, a kind a homage to the Easter Candle and of course illicit in the Catholic liturgy.
I think the Catholic Book of Blessings, as dismal as that book is and its blessings are, foresees the blessing of anything during Mass to take place during the Universal Prayer.
To bless the Advent Wreathe at that time seems a bit anti-climatic. If I do the blessing of the wreathe, I would do it at the Universal Prayer at our first Mass of the weekend only, which would be Saturday night at 5 pm. At all other Masses it would be lighted at the time the altar candles are. Our OF tradition, of course, does the lighting of the candles unceremoniously before Mass and usually by an usher. O the humanity of it all!
My parish has had the Christ Candle tradition but this year I banned it. Am I too dictatorial, a kind of liturgical terrorist?
You EFers and OFers, what does your parish do with the Lutheran Advent Wreathe and in EF parishes is it encouraged for home use, after all it isn't Catholic or is it? And you Easterners, what do you do with the Lutheran concept as nice as it is?