Celebrating Advent

Advent is the time of the year we prepare for the second coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ while reflecting on what His first coming has offered us. Celebrating Advent may have begun in the 4th century as a 40-day fast to prepare for Christmas. Others attribute a more contemporary celebration of Advent to the 1800s.

While the modern use is in the form of a wreath, I decided a few years ago that I wanted to give the advent candles a more prominent place in our home and to have a reminder of the meanings of each candle. The wreath consists of 5 candles. 3 purple, 1 pink, and 1 white. Each of these candles have a significant meaning.

The first Sunday of Advent a purple candle is lit called the Prophecy Candle or Hope Candle. It brings to remembrance all those who foretold of Christ’s birth, specifically, the prophet Isaiah.

The second Sunday another purple candle is lit called the Bethlehem Candle or Faith Candle. Depending on the source it may represent the manger, the prophecies surrounding Christ’s humble beginnings and earth parents, or the Bible.

The third Sunday a pink candle is lit called the Shepherd’s Candle or Joy Candle. It represents the joy of knowing His coming is near. In some churches there is a tradition that it is the time of “stirring”.

The fourth Sunday a purple candle is lit called the Angel’s Candle or Peace Candle. It represents the announcement of Christ’s birth.

On Christmas Eve or on Christmas day, the final candle, a white candle, is lit called the Christ Candle. It represents the sinless, spotless Lamb that washes away all our sins.

Each week we read Scriptures that tie into our Advent focus. You might choose just one to use all week, or a different one each day.

Knowing I wanted the candles to remain lit often and knowing that I didn’t want to buy stock in a candle factory, I purchased 5 LED white candles. One candle is taller than the others to be the center Christ Candle. I created labels using a sheet of 10 clear labels. I made one for each candle, coloring the text according to each week’s advent tradition. Once printed, all I needed to do was place a label on each of the candles. When the candles are lit, we can read what each candle represents. Placing it on the mantle next to our Christmas tree, my family is able to see and remember the real reason for the season.

If you would like a PDF of the labels shown below, you can download it here: Advent Candle Labels.

It is my hope this simple decorating project is one small help in keeping Christ the focus of your Christmas season.