Advent is the first season of the Church’s liturgical year and includes the four Sundays and weekdays before Christmas.
We prepare our hearts and thoughts during the Advent season for Christmas, which commemorates the anniversary of the birth of the Lord.
In the Middle Ages, Christians began using the Advent wreath and candles as a part of their spiritual preparation for Christmas. This Catholic custom has been around for a long time.
The candles and wreath are rich with Christmas-related symbolism. The wreath itself, which is comprised of many types of evergreens, represents unending life. The wreath’s circle, which has no beginning or end, stands in for God’s eternities, the soul’s immortality, and the everlasting life we discover in Christ.
Christians use a wreath with five candles to represent many spiritual stages of preparation over the four weeks of Advent. The three colours of the Advent candles—purple, pink, and white—represent the fervent expectation that Christians experience as they get ready for the birth or second coming of Jesus Christ.
The candles also have a unique meaning of their own. One candle is lit every Sunday to symbolise each of the four weeks of Advent. Because the colour violet is a liturgical one that denotes a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice, three of the candles are purple.
Hope is represented by the first candle, which is purple. In honour of the prophets, particularly Isaiah, who prophesied the birth of Christ, it is occasionally referred to as the “Prophecy Candle.” It symbolises the eagerness felt in anticipation of the Messiah’s arrival.
The second candle, which is purple as well, stands for faith. Because it serves as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, it is known as the “Bethlehem Candle.”
The third candle is pink and represents happiness. Because rose is a liturgical colour for joy, it is known as the “Shepard’s Candle” and is pink. Gaudete Sunday, which falls on the third Sunday of Advent, is intended to serve as a reminder of the joy that the world felt upon the birth of Jesus as well as the delight that the faithful have arrived at the midway of Advent.
We burn the last purple candle during the fourth week of Advent to symbolise the last week of fasting and prayer before the birth of our Savior. The “Angel’s Candle,” the last candle, stands for peace. It makes us think of the angels’ proclamation of “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”
On Christmas Eve, the white candle is set in the centre of the wreath and lit. The “Christ Candle” as it is called symbolises Christ’s life. Because Christ is our sinless, sinless Savior, the colour white stands for purity.
Advent celebrations are a wonderful way to get yourself mentally and emotionally ready for Christmas.
I pray the good LORD, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, keep and bless you all the days of your life in the mighty name of J E S U S Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.