December 1, 8, 15, 22, during our Sunday Worship Service
Advent is the season of the year leading up to Christmas. The word advent itself means “arrival” or “an appearing or coming into place.” The Advent celebration is both a commemoration of Christ’s first coming and an anticipation of His second coming. As Israel longed for their Messiah to come, so Christians long for their Savior to come again.
The most common Advent candle tradition involves four candles around the wreath. The evergreen of the wreath symbolizes the eternal life that Jesus brings. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions may vary.
- The first candle symbolizes hope and is called the “Prophet’s Candle.” The prophets of the Old Testament, especially Isaiah, waited in hope for the Messiah’s arrival.
- The second candle represents faith and is called “Bethlehem’s Candle.” Micah had foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which is also the birthplace of King David.
- The third candle symbolizes joy and is called the “Shepherd’s Candle.” To the shepherd’s great joy, the angels announced that Jesus came for humble, unimportant people like them, too. In liturgy, the color rose signifies joy.
- The fourth candle represents peace and is called the “Angel’s Candle.” The angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace–He came to bring people close to God and to each other again.
- The (optional) fifth candle represents light and purity and is called “Christ’s candle.” It is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day.