The season of Advent officially began last weekend and at all of our Prairie Lakes Church campuses we opened our service with the lighting of our first Advent candle accompanied with a few readings and a prayer. For some of you an Advent wreath is something that you grew up with and is pretty standard for this season. Others of you are still new to this concept and it might seem a bit foreign to you. I decided to dedicate a post to explaining what each candle means and why two of the candles are different colors. I found this short summary online and it seemed to explain it well.
Week One: The Candle of Hope (Purple)
The first week the first blue or purple candle is lit in a symbolic representation of hope. Christmas is the season of Christ's arrival and fulfillment of the waiting for Messiah. The hope of Christians is in the Second Coming of Christ.
Week Two: The Candle of Peace (Purple)
The second week, the first candle is lit again and the second purple candle is lit in the representation of peace. Christmas is known as a season of peace. Jesus came to bring us spiritual peace and is known as the Prince of Peace.
Week Three: The Candle of Joy (Pink)
For the third lighting ceremony, the first two candles are lit and the pink candle is lit in the symbolism of joy. Christmas is as a time of joy for many. Christians are reminded of the joy they have in Jesus.
Week Four: The Candle of Love (Purple)
The fourth lighting ceremony, the three previous candles are lit and then the final candle on the wreath is lit. The fourth candle is lit in remembrance of love. The Christmas season is an expression of the love that God has for humanity. Jesus is the highest and greatest expression of the love God has for us. Christians are reminded to show that love to the world around us.
Christmas Eve: The Christ Candle (White)
On the final lighting, usually done on or near Christmas Eve or Christmas, all of the candles on the wreath are lit. The final large white candle in the center is lit. This candle represents Christ and His coming. This candle is larger than the rest because Christ is the savior of the world. The candle is white to represent the purity and sinless nature of Christ.