The Meaning of the Advent Wreath
The Advent wreath is a tradition that symbolizes our journey through the four weeks of Advent. It is a circular candle holder that typically holds four candles. During the season of Advent one candle on the wreath is lit each Sunday until all four candles are lit. Each candle represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
1st CANDLE – THE PROPHECY CANDLE or CANDLE OF HOPE
There is hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. “… and again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse shall come,
the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in
hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:12-13)
2nd CANDLE – THE BETHLEHEM CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF PREPARATION
God kept his promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to “get ready”. Help us to be ready to welcome YOU, O GOD! “… as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'" (Luke 3:4-6)
3rd CANDLE – THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY
The angels sang a message of JOY! “… to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a
child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to
God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!" When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one
another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." (Luke 2:11-15)
4th CANDLE –THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE
The angels announced the good news of a Savior. “…said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10b-11). “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
Christmas: White, calling to mind the purity of the newborn Christ, and to our light and joy in him. Some also use Gold.