What is Advent?
The Advent, which begins the church’s liturgical year, began Sunday, December 1. The Advent consists of four Sundays and weeks, leading to the celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparing our hearts and minds for the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas.
we celebrate Advent by placing an Advent wreath and lighting candles each week. Our arrival wreath is located near the entrance to the cafeteria, and both colleagues and children are encouraged to visit it and consider the meaning of Advent.
The use of wreaths and candles during the Advent is a long-standing Catholic tradition that was originally adopted by Christians in the Middle Ages as part of their spiritual preparation for Christmas.
The wreaths and candles are filled with symbolism tied to the Christmas season. The Pushpanjali, which is made up of various evergreens, signifies continuous life. The circle of wreaths, which has no beginning or end, is a symbol of the infinity of God, the immortality of the soul and the everlasting life we receive in Christ.
Even the personal evergreens that make a wreath have their own meanings that may be compatible with our faith. Laurel is a symbol of victory over oppression and suffering. Cedar, Holi, and U symbolize immortality and cedar is a symbol of strength and healing. The pine cone that adorns the wreath is a symbol of life and resurrection. The wreath as a whole is to remind us of the immortality of our souls and God’s promise to give us life forever.
Candles also have their own special significance. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent, and one candle is lit every Sunday. Three of the candles are violet as the color violet is a lit color indicating the time of prayer, penance and sacrifice.
The first candle, which is purple, is a symbol of hope. It is sometimes called the “prophetic candle” in memory of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who predicted the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
The second candle, which is also purple, represents faith. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle”, reminiscent of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
The third candle is pink and symbolizes joy. It is called the “Shepard Candle” and is pink because rose is a color for happiness. The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday and is meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that faithful people have reached the middle of Advent.
In the fourth week of Advent, we burn the final purple candle to mark the last week of prayer and penance as we await the birth of our Savior. This last candle, “Angel Candle”, is a symbol of peace. It reminds us of the angels’ message: “Peace on earth, good will of men.”
Although the Mercy Home Advent wreath does not include a white candle, it is a tradition that has become popular in modern-day adaptations.
White candles are placed in the middle of the wreath and lit on Christmas Eve. This candle is called the “Christ Candle” and represents the life of Christ. White is for purity – because Christ is our sinless, pure savior.