The Advent Wreath
 
Both parish Churches display an Advent wreath during this liturgical season. The wreath is traditionally constructed of a circle of evergreen branches and is fitted with four candles (3 violet and 1 rose). It has become the custom to add a white candle in the middle. It is lit on Christmas day to signify the removal of darkness and sin that follows the coming of Christ. Other aspects of the wreath are of symbolic significance:
  • The circle has no beginning or end. This symbolises the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul and the everlasting life found in Christ.
  • The traditional four candles are lit successively on the Four Sundays of Advent.
  • The three purple candles reflect the need for prayer, penance and preparatory sacrifices at this time.
  • The rose candle is lit on the Third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday) and symbolises the approaching joy of Christmas.
  • The progressive lighting of the candles signifies the expectation and hope surrounding Our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming at the end of time.
  • The light itself is a reminder of Christ as the Light of the World.
It is fitting for families to make an Advent wreath for use in the home.