Sunday, 3 December 2023 will mark the beginning of lighting your first candle in your Christmas Advent candle wreath.
The meaning behind lighting Advent candles: The four Advent candles represent the four weeks of Advent / 4 Sundays before Christmas, and should be lit in a specific order. All four candles are placed in a wreath with three of one colour, usually purple, and one of a single color, usually baby pink or in some traditions, white. Some people will also place a white candle in the middle of the wreath.
- On the first Sunday, the first purple candle (the Prophecy Candle) is lit in the evening and it is lit every night until the following Sunday when it is lit along with the second purple candle (the Bethlehem Candle).
- The two purple candles are lit every night until the third Sunday when they are lit along with the third pink candle (the Shepherd’s Candle), and then these three are lit every night until the fourth Sunday.
- On the fourth Sunday, the final purple candle (the Angel’s candle) is lit, and all four candles are lit each night for the following week.
- The candles are blown out at the end of each evening
- Those that include the 5th white candle (the Christ candle) light it on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and then light this candle every night for 12 days after Christmas Day. If a white candle is used, it can be placed in the middle of the wreath.
Each candle has a specific meaning related to the birth of Christ.
- The Prophecy Candle – The first purple candle, is the Prophecy Candle symbolizes hope and God’s forgiveness toward man. It also can symbolize the expectation of the coming of the Messiah.
- The Bethlehem Candle – The second purple candle symbolizes faith and reminds Catholics about the experience of Joseph and Mary in the city of Bethlehem.
- The Shepherd’s Candle – The third candle which is pink or rose, represents Gaudete Sunday and the joy that the Lord is near. Traditionally, on Gaudete Sunday one takes a break from Advent fasting to experience the joy of the day. “Gaudete” is Latin for “Rejoice”
- The Angel’s Candle – The last purple candle is the Angel’s Candle and represents the peace and justice that the angels and Christ bring to the world. It also can represent purity.
- The Christ Candle – If a white candle in the middle of the wreath is included, this candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and represents Christ and purity. The Christ Candle is lit every night until the Feast of the Epiphany, which is twelve days from Christmas.
Create your own Advent Wreath using these products: