This year December 1 marked the first Sunday in Advent, which many churches celebrate during their worship services. The word “advent” stems from Adventus, the Latin word for “coming” and refers to the coming of the Savior. In the Christian church, Advent represents the four weeks before Christmas and is considered a holy season.
The Advent wreath can be a home-based family craft consisting of the candles of Advent, together with evergreens to make a wreath which symbolizes eternity. The Advent wreath consists of four candles—traditionally, three of the candles have been violet and one rose-colored, but it is now acceptable to use four violet candles. Some churches use blue candles and reserve the violet candles for Lent.
- The first candle, which is lit on the first Sunday of Advent, represents the hope of Jesus’ arrival and is sometimes called the prophet’s candle.
- The second candle, which is lit on the second Sunday of Advent, is generally called the Bethlehem candle.
- The third Sunday of Advent is observed with the shepherd’s candle . . .
- And the fourth Sunday of Advent is observed by the lighting of the angel’s candle.
Some use a center candle, generally white, which is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and which symbolizes Christ’s birth.
Advent information from Christmas A to Z, ©2007 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (Thomas Nelson) Used by permission.