This beautiful wreath ring and candle set above is from Marklin http://www.marklincandledesign.com/adventcandles.html
If you do not have a Flower Guild at your church, it is usually the altar guild which has the responsibility for ordering candles and a wreath for the Advent Wreath. Advent 1 is November 30, but prepare well in advance and avoid the last-minute panic -“Where is the wreath ring ?!”- “Can you rush our candle order!” that is heard in many churches in November. Try to avoid stearine candles, or candles from the Christmas Tree Shop or cheap candles from anywhere. They do not burn evenly, they smoke, and make a waxy mess everywhere. 51% beeswax candles last well, burn clean and even, and are especially neat and safe when used with a glass or brass follower. (see photo above). Egan’s Church Supply will give you a better price over the catalogue price if you order your candles online here http://www.eganchurchsupply.com/cs/candles_advent.htm $51.61 instead of 57.35 for the four candle set of 3 purple and one rose colored candle in the 1 1/2 inch diameter.
IDEA: You might have your church secretary put an announcement for an Advent Wreath Sponsor in the Sunday bulletin and newsletter. I have done this for many years and there sometimes are several families who wish to sponsor the wreath and candles in memory, in thanksgiving, or in honor of an event or person. Recently a newly-wed couple came forward to sponsor the candles and wreath for the Advent Wreath and the Paschal Candle ! Their announcement in the bulletin will read : Mr. and Mrs. John Doe offer the Advent Wreath this season to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for the blessings of their union in Holy Matrimony”.
IDEA: If you have a particularly beautiful brass candle ring, you may opt to NOT put greens on during the weeks of Advent and instead go all out for Christmas Eve and decorate the wreath ring then, lighting the white “Christ Candle” in the middle on that night. This is done at Christ Church in Westerly and is very effective.
If a florist makes up your wreath, be sure to get the ring to him/her in plenty of time and place your order early. Holly and laurel leaves never make it through all four weeks of Advent, and dry out very fast. Advent wreaths must never be left burning unattended and candle wicks should be kept trimmed. Naturally open flames should never be near dry vegetation or cloth or anything combustible. Followers are a great help in holding the shape of the candle and burning chamber around the wick in good shape. They will also prevent dripping wax all over the wreath. Almy has glass followers and is also currently running a special on liquid wax Advent candles at this link http://www.almy.com/
Almy candle followers in UNLACQUERED brass are actually cheaper than the glass followers. Unlacquered brass is a good thing and they can easily be cleaned and polished to a bright shine.
Catalogues are offering an Advent Wreath stand in brass in the 500-800 dollar range which can also be used for Paschal candles. The Advent candle and wreath round ring is a separate cost and fits into the socket of the upright stand either at a tilt or parallel to the floor. Often there will be a benefactor wishing to purchase something for the church as a memorial or a dedication piece. A brass wreath and candle ring and stand might just be a good item to have ready on the “wish list”. It is a one time purchase and a very lasting tribute which will be put to use for many years in the church.