Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Advent Season




The Advent season is here!  In our church, we celebrate this by lighting a candle on the Advent wreath each Sunday until Christmas Eve.  I have so many fond memories of this which started when I was 7 years old.  As a child, when the Advent wreath came out at church, it meant Christmas was oh, so close.  As an adult, I still get excited, but not for the same reasons.  Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love to reflect on the birth of my Savior.  

The Advent wreath is a circle of evergreen branches representing eternity.   On the wreath, five candles are arranged.   Each candle represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Set on the branches of the wreath are four candles: three purple candles and one pink candle. In the center of the wreath sits a white candle. Together, these candles represent the coming of the light of Christ into the world. 

Week 1 - On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit. This candle is usually called the "Prophecy Candle" in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. This candle represents hope or expectation in anticipation of the coming Messiah. 




Week 2 ~ A  candle symbolizing God’s LOVE ~ This is sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle, symbolic of the manger.  God sent His only Son to earth so save us, He loved us that much. 
(see John 3:16-17)

Week 3 ~ A   candle is lit, symbolizing JOY  ~ This is sometimes called the Shepherds candle.  When Jesus was born, the angels brought “good tidings of great joy”.  
(see Luke 2:7-11)

Week 4 ~ A   candle symbolizing PEACE, sometimes called the Angels candle. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and through Him, peace is found.  
(see Isaiah 9:6)

Christmas Eve – The center candle, called the Christ Candle.  The color white represents Jesus, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God, sent to take away our sins. Those who receive Him as their Savior are washed of their sins and made whiter than snow.   

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
John 1:29

If you have children, or work with them, here is a good Advent lesson to use:
Advent Lessons - Teaching Through the Nativity


Have a blessed week my friends.


4 comments:

Vee said...

As a result of a series of posts Miss Sandy did at Quill Cottage quite a few years ago now, we followed along with Advent lessons and the candles that year. It was a wonderful way to get centered for the week to follow. It was nothing that I had known of or done in any of the churches I had attended prior to that. It is not something we have done since. Thank you for mentioning it again.

Lady Linda said...

I just posted about the Advent season and Advent wreath on my blog today. I love the tradition.

Teresa Arsenault said...

Abby, thank you so much for explaining the observance of Advent and what the different candles represent. I am celebrating Advent through daily devotionals at the online community His Kingdom Come. It would be lovely to try doing an Advent wreath with my family.
Blessing hugs,
Teresa

Maxine D said...

Thank you Abby - we too have an advent wreath and we lit the "hope" candle this week. The lighting is accompanied by a brief teaching on what the candle for that week signifies. A lovely tradition.
Blessings
Maxine