Candle Lighting Ceremony - Advent
The Meanings of Advent!
The Meaning of the Advent Season
The word Advent comes from a Latin word meaning “coming”. It symbolizes the expectation of the coming of the Messiah (Savior). For the Christian Community this is seen in 3 different ways
The Meaning of the Wreath in Advent
- Bay Laurel Victory
- Balsam Ardent Love
- Cedar Strength and Healing - Reminds us His strength is made perfect in our weakness. “I live only for you” - Reminds us to live for Him.
- Holly The prickly Leaves remind us of the Crown of Thorns and the red berries remind us of the Blood of Jesus
- Pine Everlasting life – Eternal life is only gained thru Him.
- Ivy Friendship, Faithfulness and Affection. He is our friend and is faithful in all things.
The Meaning of the Circle in the Advent Wreath
The Meaning of the Advent Wreath Candles
The candle itself is symbolic of Light and life. Placing the candles into the wreath is symbolic of Jesus (who came from a spiritual realm) entering our natural world.
The Meaning of the Colors in the Advent Wreath
The colors of the candles are also symbolic.
The Meaning of the Weeks of Advent
Week 1 - Hope
The first Sunday signifies the hope that we have in Jesus when we allow Him to lead us out of darkness into light.
Week 2 – Peace
The second Sunday reminds us that Jesus came to bring Peace and good will. We are reminded of the message that the angels brought to the shepherds…that Jesus would bring Peace on Earth and good will toward men…and our need to take His example and live for others bringing his peace and good will to them. From the words of Zecharias in Luke 1:79….”He will guide our feet into the way of Peace”.
Week 3 – Love
The third Sunday signifies Love. This is the Pink candle. We are reminded that He is Love and that He loves us with an everlasting Love and that we are to Love one another as Christ urged us.
Week 4 - Joy
The forth Sunday signifies Joy. As the day of celebration draws close we become excited with anticipation and joy. We are reminded that a life with Him is one full of Joy!
The Lighting of the Candles in the Advent Wreath
The Lighting of the Candles commences four Sundays before Christmas Eve. A new candle is lit each week. The purple candles are lit on weeks 1, 2 and 4. The pink candle is lit on the 3rd week. A fifth white candle (sometimes placed in the centre of the wreath) is lit on Christmas Eve.
The Advent Candle Wreath Lighting Ceremony
Before the evening meal on Week one, the first candle is lit. A prayer or poem is said or some devotional verses are read. The candle burns during the meal. Either during the meal, or after the meal, discussion is held about the significance of the Advent, the week being celebrated and the colors. Some families will have quizzes and coloring-ins for the children. Others discuss ways they can draw closer to God and how to practically outwork the message of the week.
Who Lights The Candles at Advent?
Each family will decide the tradition they will follow for their lighting ceremony. Some families start with the youngest child the first week, next youngest the second week working thru the rest of the children to the end when the parents light the fifth candle in the center on Christmas Eve. Others start the oldest child. Some families have the mother or the father light the candles each week. Still others have a guest light the candle. Whoever lights, it does not matter….it is your tradition and you may apply whatever significance is relevant to your family.
Pictured above are two boys lighting an advent wreath with a difference. 4 red candles and one pink central candle were chosen for this wreath. And below an advent wreath using all red candles.
Click here to get your advent wreath candles.