The 4 candles of advent are a traditional symbol of the Christmas season. These historic candles are lit in the weeks leading up to Christmas day and represent a variety of themes. Each candle has its own specific meaning and is lit on a different Sunday during advent. The candles are rarely seen outside of faith-based communities, but their message is universal!
The first candle, the Hope candle, symbolizes the anticipation of Jesus’ arrival and the hope that his coming brings. It is typically lit on the first Sunday of advent and marks the beginning of the holiday season. This candle reminds us to stay hopeful for the future and to remain optimistic about what’s yet to come.
The second candle, the Peace candle, represents peace itself. This candle is lit on the second Sunday of advent, and it reminds us of the peace that Jesus offers to those who accept him. It calls on us to spread love, kindness, and forgiveness to those around us, and to find peace in our hearts during this sometimes hectic season. The message of the peace candle is of particular importance in an age of chaos and division.
History of Advent and its Candles
Advent is the period of four weeks that precedes Christmas and it is mainly celebrated by Christians around the world. It is a time of reflection, preparation, and anticipation for the coming of the Christ child. The word advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival”. The Advent season is marked by the lighting of four candles on a wreath, with one candle being lit each Sunday. The concept of the Advent wreath can be traced back to the early 19th century in Germany.
- The first Advent wreath with candles was created by Johann Hinrich Wichern in 1839.
- The wreath is made up of evergreen branches which symbolize the eternity of God and His unending love for us.
- The four candles represent the four Sundays of Advent, with each candle having a unique meaning.
It was originally used as a teaching tool for children, to educate them about the meaning of Christmas and the importance of the birth of Jesus Christ. However, it soon became a common practice in many Christian households and churches around the world.
The Advent wreath has gone through changes over the years, but the basic concept remains the same. It is now one of the most recognizable symbols of Advent. Each candle on the wreath has its own meaning, as well as its own color:
|First Candle||Purple||Symbolizes hope|
|Second Candle||Purple||Symbolizes peace|
|Third Candle||Pink||Symbolizes joy|
|Fourth Candle||Purple||Symbolizes love|
The Advent season is a time to remember the coming of Christ, and to reflect on the meaning of His birth. It is also a time to prepare for His Second Coming, which Christians believe is coming soon. The four candles of the Advent wreath remind us of the hope, peace, joy, and love that Christ brought into the world, and the way that these essential values can transform our lives.
The Meaning of Each Candle’s Color
The colors of the four candles in an advent wreath hold deeper meanings that make the observance more meaningful. The colors were not randomly chosen, but rather symbolizes the faith, hope, love, and joy that await those who believe in the true meaning of Christmas.
- Purple: The first and second candle in the advent wreath is colored purple. This shade represents repentance, preparation, and solemnity. The color purple has been associated with royalty and nobility due to its rarity and high price in ancient times. As such, it also signifies the arrival of a special and unique guest, Jesus.
- Pink: The third candle in the advent wreath is colored pink. This shade signifies joy, happiness, and rejoicing. The candle, also known as the ‘Shepherd’s candle,’ represents the joy and excitement the shepherds felt when they heard about the birth of Jesus. Pink is a lighter shade of purple and provides a break from the penitential and introspective tone of the advent period.
- White: The fourth and final candle in the advent wreath is often colored white. This symbolizes the purity, light, and peace brought about by the birth of Jesus Christ. White is also associated with the angels that appeared to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, heralding the Good News that a savior had been born to the world.
The Symbolic meaning of the Candles’ Position
Not only do the candles’ colors have symbolic meanings, but their positions also symbolize important aspects of the advent season. The first candle placed on the wreath represents hope, the second symbolizes love, the third candle, pink, represents joy while the fourth and final candle symbolizes peace.
Each candle is lit on Sundays in December until Christmas day. The lighting of the candles symbolizes the increasing light of Christ coming into the world.
The Advent Candle Lighting Tradition
The advent candle lighting tradition is centered around the lighting of the four candles in the advent wreath, one candle for each Sunday of Advent. During the ceremony, each candle is lit in succession. After each candle is lit, a prayer is said and a reading from the Bible follows. This is done to keep the true meaning of Christmas in mind as the holiday approaches.
In conclusion, the colors of the advent candles represent the virtues of hope, love, joy, and peace. Each candle symbolizes an aspect of the season and reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. Through the advent candle lighting tradition, the faithful can prepare themselves spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ, and reflect on the miracle of His coming into the world.
The Significance of Lighting the Candles
As the Christmas season approaches, many families incorporate the Advent wreath as part of their holiday decorations. The Advent wreath is a symbol of the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas day. The wreath holds four candles that are lit, one for each week leading up to Christmas. While the wreath and candles are a beautiful addition to the decorations, they hold a deeper meaning for those who celebrate Advent.
What Do the 4 Candles of Advent Symbolize?
- Week one: The first candle is traditionally purple and symbolizes hope. As the first candle is lit, it reminds us to stay hopeful and look forward to the coming of Christ.
- Week two: The second candle, also purple, is lit to symbolize love. As we light this candle, we are called to reflect on the love that God has for us, and the love we have for others in our lives.
- Week three: The third candle, pink in color, represents joy. Often known as the ‘Gaudete Candle’ meaning “rejoice”, it is a reminder of the joy that comes with the arrival of Christ.
- Week four: The final candle, often also purple, is lit on the fourth week of Advent and represents peace. As we prepare for the arrival of Christ, this candle reminds us to look inward and reflect on the peace we have within ourselves and to share that peace with others.
The Significance of Lighting the Candles
As each candle is lit, it is a reminder of the coming of Christ, and a call to prepare ourselves, our hearts, and our loved ones for the celebration of his birth. Each week, we are encouraged to focus on that specific spiritual quality, and reflect on how we can incorporate it into our daily lives.
Lighting the candles is a physical representation of the hope, love, joy, and peace that we hope to find during the season of Advent. It reminds us of the light that Christ brings into the world and into our own lives. As the weeks progress, we are reminded of the approaching celebration of his birth and the ultimate gift of salvation that he brings.
As the tradition of the Advent wreath and candles is passed down through generations, it remains a significant reminder of the true meaning of Christmas, and the hope, love, joy, and peace that it represents. It serves as a reminder to slow down, reflect, and prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming of Christ.
The Role of the Advent Wreath in Christianity
Advent is the season of preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated by Christians around the world. It lasts for four weeks, beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent wreath is an important symbol during this time, serving as a visual reminder of the season’s themes of hope, peace, joy, and love. Let’s take a closer look at what each of the 4 candles on the Advent wreath symbolizes:
- First Candle: Hope – The first candle of Advent symbolizes hope and is known as the “Prophecy Candle.” This candle represents the hope and anticipation of the Old Testament prophets who foretold the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
- Second Candle: Peace – The second candle of Advent represents peace and is called the “Bethlehem Candle.” It reminds Christians of the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and the peace that came upon them as they found shelter for the birth of Jesus.
- Third Candle: Joy – The third candle of Advent symbolizes joy and is called the “Shepherd’s Candle.” It reminds Christians of the joy the shepherds felt when they received the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ from the angels.
- Fourth Candle: Love – The fourth and final candle of Advent represents love and is called the “Angel’s Candle.” It reminds Christians of the love that Jesus Christ brought into the world through his teachings and ultimately his sacrificial death on the cross.
The four candles together also represent the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi’s last words and the birth of Jesus Christ. The Advent wreath is traditionally made of evergreen branches, symbolizing eternal life, and the circle of the wreath represents God’s unending love and mercy. During Advent, the candles are lit one by one, with an additional candle added each week until all four are lit on the last Sunday before Christmas.
The Advent wreath, with its four candles, provides an opportunity for Christians to pause and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas during a busy season of shopping, parties, and other distractions. It serves as a visual reminder of the hope, peace, joy, and love that Jesus Christ brought into the world and continues to offer to all who believe.
|First Candle||Purple||Hope and Prophecy|
|Second Candle||Purple||Peace and Bethlehem|
|Third Candle||Pink||Joy and Shepherds|
|Fourth Candle||Purple||Love and Angels|
The Advent wreath represents an important symbol in Christianity, allowing believers to focus on the true meaning of Christmas by reminding them of the hope, peace, joy, and love brought into the world by Jesus Christ. As the candles are lit each week, Christians are encouraged to meditate on these themes and prepare their hearts to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
The Connection Between Advent and Christmas
The Advent season is a time of preparation for the celebration of Christmas. During this time, Christians reflect on the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ and anticipate his return. Advent is a time when people recommit themselves to their faith and renew their hope in God.
- The First Candle: The first candle of Advent represents hope. It reminds us of the hope that was given to humanity through the birth of Jesus Christ. This candle also signifies the prophets who spoke of the coming of the Savior and the hope that his birth brought to the world.
- The Second Candle: The second candle of Advent represents faith. It reminds us of the faith that Mary had in God, as she accepted her role as the mother of Jesus Christ. This candle also symbolizes the trust that we must have in God and the faith that we need to have in his plan for our lives.
- The Third Candle: The third candle of Advent represents joy. It reminds us of the joy that the birth of Jesus Christ brings to the world. This candle also symbolizes the joy that we should feel in our hearts as we prepare for his coming.
- The Fourth Candle: The fourth candle of Advent represents peace. It reminds us of the peace that Jesus Christ came to bring to the world. This candle also symbolizes the peace that we should seek in our lives, as we prepare for his coming.
The four candles of Advent, therefore, serve as a reminder of the significance of the Christmas season and its connection to the Christian faith. As we light each candle, we are reminded of the hope, faith, joy, and peace that are found in Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, Advent provides an opportunity for individuals to connect with their faith and deepen their understanding of the Christmas story. It is a time for spiritual growth and reflection, as we prepare for the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As Christians, we understand that Advent and Christmas are intricately connected. The birth of Jesus Christ – who was both fully God and fully human – is the foundation of our faith. During Advent, we reflect on the significance of his arrival, and during Christmas, we celebrate his birth.
The Number of Candles on the Advent Wreath
The Advent wreath is a common sight during the Christmas season, consisting of a wreath with four or five candles. Each candle on the wreath represents a different aspect of the Advent season, which is the time leading up to Christmas. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the significance of the number of candles on the Advent wreath.
Six Candles on the Advent Wreath
- First Candle – Purple: Represents Hope
- Second Candle – Purple: Represents Peace
- Third Candle – Pink: Represents Joy
- Fourth Candle – Purple: Represents Love
- Fifth Candle – White: Represents Christ, lit on Christmas Day, and symbolizing purity, innocence, and peace
- Sixth Candle – White: Optional, represents the grace of God, or the restoration of the fallen humanity in the person of Jesus Christ
While the Advent wreath typically has four candles, some churches and families include a fifth candle, which is often white in color. This candle is often referred to as the Christ candle and is lit on Christmas Day to signify the birth of Jesus Christ. However, some Advent wreaths also include a sixth candle, which can also be white in color.
The sixth candle on the Advent wreath is generally seen as optional, and its significance varies depending on the church or family using it. Some interpret it as representing the grace of God or the restoration of fallen humanity in the person of Jesus Christ. Others see it as a replacement for the Christ candle and light it on Christmas Day to symbolize Christ’s birth.
|First Candle – Purple||Represents Hope|
|Second Candle – Purple||Represents Peace|
|Third Candle – Pink||Represents Joy|
|Fourth Candle – Purple||Represents Love|
|Fifth Candle – White||Represents Christ, lit on Christmas Day and symbolizing purity, innocence, and peace|
|Sixth Candle – White||Optional, and its significance varies depending on interpretation|
Ultimately, the significance of the number of candles on the Advent wreath can vary depending on the religious tradition and personal beliefs of those using it. However, each candle is meant to represent an important aspect of the Advent season and the anticipation of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Importance of Preparing for Christmas
Advent is the period of four weeks leading up to Christmas. Many people associate it with the lighting of candles in an Advent wreath – four candles arranged in a circle with a fifth candle in the center, representing Christ. The four outer candles are often lit, one for each week, as a symbol of waiting for the arrival of the Savior. But what do these four candles represent?
The Four Candles of Advent and Their Symbolism
- Hope: The first candle, often purple, represents hope and is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle.” It represents the anticipation of Jesus’ coming and the hope that he brings to the world.
- Peace: The second candle, also purple, represents peace and is often called the “Bethlehem Candle.” It reminds us of the peace that Christ brings and the peace that we should strive for in our own lives.
- Joy: The third candle, often pink, represents joy and is sometimes called the “Shepherd’s Candle.” It reminds us of the joy that the shepherds felt when they received the news of Jesus’ birth and the joy that we should feel in preparing for his coming.
- Love: The fourth candle, also purple, represents love and is often called the “Angel’s Candle.” It reminds us of the love that God has for us and the love that we should share with others as we prepare for Christ’s arrival.
The candles of Advent are a powerful reminder of the hope, peace, joy, and love that we should be focused on during this time of year. The act of lighting the candles each week can help us to slow down and to be intentional in our preparations for the Christmas season.
Preparing for Christmas
For many people, the Christmas season is a time of stress and busyness. There are presents to buy, cards to send, decorations to put up, and food to prepare. Amidst all of this busyness, it can be easy to forget what the season is truly about and to lose sight of its deeper meaning.
Preparing for Christmas means taking the time to slow down, to reflect, and to focus on what is truly important. It means using the Advent season as a time of spiritual preparation, as we anticipate the coming of Christ. This might involve attending special services at your church, spending extra time in prayer or meditation, or reading Scripture passages that focus on the coming of the Savior.
Preparing for Christmas can also mean finding ways to give back and to help others in need. This might involve volunteering at a local homeless shelter, making a charitable donation, or simply reaching out to someone who is lonely or in need of support.
Ultimately, the key to preparing for Christmas is to be intentional in your actions and to focus on the deeper meaning of the season. By doing so, you can experience the hope, peace, joy, and love that are at the heart of the Advent season.
|Advent Wreath||Symbols of hope, peace, joy, and love|
|Candles of Advent||Represent the waiting for the arrival of the Savior and the virtues that we should focus on during Advent season.|
Preparing for Christmas is not just about the physical preparations but rather the spiritual and intentional preparations. By doing so, we can fully experience the true meaning of the season and rejoice in the hope, peace, joy, and love that it brings.
The Advent Wreath and Its Global Popularity
The Advent wreath is a custom that has gained popularity all over the world. The wreath is typically made up of evergreen branches and has four candles that are lit, one for each of the four Sundays of Advent. The custom started in Germany in the 16th century, but has since spread to other parts of the world.
- The First Candle: The first candle represents hope. It is also known as the Prophecy Candle because it represents the prophets, particularly Isaiah, who foretold the coming of Jesus Christ.
- The Second Candle: The second candle represents faith. It is also called the Bethlehem Candle because it represents the faith of Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem.
- The Third Candle: The third candle represents joy. It is also called the Shepherd Candle because it represents the joy the shepherds felt when they heard the good news of Jesus Christ’s birth.
- The Fourth Candle: The fourth candle represents peace. It is also called the Angel Candle because it represents the message of peace the angels delivered to the shepherds.
While the Advent wreath tradition started in Germany, it has since become a global custom. Many churches around the world have adopted this tradition as a way to celebrate Advent. The use of the wreath has also spread to homes and families around the world. Lighting the candles and reflecting on the religious significance of the season has become a popular way to celebrate the Advent season.
Advent wreaths can come in many different styles and shapes, but the traditional circular shape is the most common. The circle represents eternity and the everlasting love that God has for his children. The candles can also be different colors, but the most common colors are purple and pink. The purple candles represent penance and preparation, while the pink candle represents joy and celebration.
|Evergreen Branches||The everlasting love of God and eternal life|
|Circle||Eternity, everlasting love of God|
|Four Candles||The four Sundays of Advent and the four virtues of hope, faith, joy, and peace.|
|Purple/Blue Candle||Penance and preparation|
|Pink Candle||Joy and celebration|
The Advent wreath is a cherished tradition that has spread far beyond its original birthplace in Germany. The symbolism of the evergreens, the circle, and the candles can vary depending on the location and religious denomination, but the overarching message of hope, faith, joy, and peace remains constant. Lighting the candles on the Advent wreath each Sunday is a simple yet profound way to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ, the hope of the world.
The Use of Other Symbols in Advent
Throughout Advent, several symbols are used to represent different aspects of the season. These symbols add to the atmosphere of the season and help us to delve deeper into its meanings. Apart from the four candles of Advent, other symbols used during the season include:
The Number 9
The number 9 symbolizes the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These fruits are believed to be the attributes that Christians should embody in their daily lives. The number 9 often appears in Advent celebrations, such as in the nine scriptures readings during the Advent service of lessons and carols.
- Love: This fruit of the Holy Spirit is embodied in the love that Christ showed us by being born into the world and sacrificing himself for us.
- Joy: During Advent, we experience joy in anticipation of the coming of Christ and the hope that he brings.
- Peace: The peace that comes with the birth of Christ is a central theme of Advent and is symbolized by the white candle of peace.
- Patience: Advent is a time of waiting and patience as we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ.
- Kindness: The kindness of God towards us is shown by sending his son to save us from our sins.
- Goodness: The goodness of humanity is celebrated during Advent as we seek to love and care for one another as Christ taught us.
- Faithfulness: We are reminded of the faithfulness of God during Advent as we see his promises fulfilled in the birth of Christ.
- Gentleness: The gentleness of Christ, depicted in his humble birth as a baby, is celebrated during Advent.
- Self-control: Advent is a time to reflect on our actions and strive to control our impulses and emotions in order to be better followers of Christ.
The number 9 can also be seen in the form of the advent wreath, which usually has nine candles, three of which are pink and symbolize joy, while the other six represent the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The advent wreath itself is circular, symbolizing the eternal nature of God and the unending love that he has for us, while the greenery used to decorate it represents life, renewal, and growth.
The Symbolic Link Between Advent Candles and the Nativity Scene
Advent season is a time of great anticipation and preparation for Christians around the world as they gear up to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The four candles of Advent are lit from the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Eve, with each candle representing a significant aspect of the Nativity Story. In this article, we will explore the symbolic link between the four candles of Advent and the Nativity Scene.
- The First Candle: The first candle represents hope and is called the “Prophet’s Candle.” This candle represents the son of Jesse, who was promised by God to come and save all mankind. The Prophet’s Candle is also referred to as the “Hope Candle.”
- The Second Candle: The second candle represents faith and is called the “Bethlehem Candle.” This candle represents the city of Bethlehem and the faith of Mary and Joseph in God’s plan for their lives. The Bethlehem Candle is also referred to as the “Faith Candle.”
- The Third Candle: The third candle represents joy and is called the “Shepherd’s Candle.” This candle represents the joy the shepherds experienced when they heard the news of Jesus’ birth. The Shepherd’s Candle is also referred to as the “Joy Candle.”
- The Fourth Candle: The fourth candle represents peace and is called the “Angel’s Candle.” This candle represents the angels who brought the good news of Jesus’ birth to the world. The Angel’s Candle is also referred to as the “Peace Candle.”
As we light each candle of Advent every Sunday leading up to Christmas, we are reminded of the hope, faith, joy, and peace that the Nativity Story brings to the world. Each candle symbolizes a different part of the story and helps us to meditate on the true meaning of Christmas.
In addition to the four candles of Advent, the Nativity Scene plays a significant role in the birth of Jesus Christ. The Nativity Scene includes figurines of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the three wise men, and the shepherds who came to visit. It is a beautiful reminder of the humble beginnings of Jesus and serves as a reminder of God’s great love for us.
Below is a table summarizing the meaning of each candle of Advent:
|First Candle||Hope/Prophet’s Candle|
|Second Candle||Faith/Bethlehem Candle|
|Third Candle||Joy/Shepherd’s Candle|
|Fourth Candle||Peace/Angel’s Candle|
The candles and the Nativity Scene are both symbols that help us to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with love, joy, and hope.
What do the 4 candles of advent symbolize?
1. What is advent?
Advent is a Christian season that starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. During this time, people prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ.
2. Why are there four candles in advent?
Each candle represents a week of advent. There are four candles because there are four weeks of advent.
3. What do the candles represent?
The first candle represents hope, the second candle represents faith, the third candle represents joy, and the fourth candle represents peace.
4. What is the meaning of the first candle?
The first candle is called the “hope” candle. It represents the hope that people felt before the coming of Jesus Christ.
5. What is the meaning of the second candle?
The second candle is called the “faith” candle. It represents the faith that people had in Jesus Christ.
6. What is the meaning of the third candle?
The third candle is called the “joy” candle. It represents the joy that people felt after the coming of Jesus Christ.
7. What is the meaning of the fourth candle?
The fourth candle is called the “peace” candle. It represents the peace that people have after the coming of Jesus Christ.
Now you know what the four candles of advent symbolize. Hope, faith, joy, and peace are the four things that Christians focus on during this time of year. Thank you for reading and we hope you visit again soon. Happy Advent!