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The Meaning of the Advent Wreath

one of the most popular Christian

symbols used in churches and family

homes to celebrate the meaning of Advent

is the Advent wreath the Catholic Advent

wreath has four candles three purple and

one rose evenly spaced along a circle of

evergreen branches each component of the

Advent wreath has a special meaning for

Christians who use it as a part of the

preparation for Christmas

first the circle throughout Christian

history the circle has been used as a

symbol of eternity and strength during

Advent remember that God is eternal as

we are surrounded by death and cold of

winter we do not forget that God is

constant God is everlasting God is

eternal no one ever created god he has

always been and he always will be the

continuous perfectly symmetrical shape

of the circle reminds us of the Eternity

of God an Advent wreath is made of

evergreen plants an evergreen plant has

leaves all year long evergreen leaves

and pine trees stay green through the

winter time while we prepare for the

coming of Christmas while other trees

have changed colors and lost their

leaves the evergreen trees stay green

the strength to overcome winter is used

as a symbol for life and its death we

remember that despite the winter new

life continues Christ has conquered

death remember as we prepare for his

coming at Christmas that Advent is a

season of celebration of the coming of

the Messiah in the Son of Man who has

conquered death and given us eternal

life the candles like other Catholic

symbols with candles the candles of

Advent represent Christ Christ is the

light of the world when we light a

candle we remember that Christ is here

with us we remember his presence with

the lighting of a candle just as we do

during the Catholic Mass the warmth of

the candle during winter in the light

amidst the long dark nights help us

remember the great gift of new life that

Christ has given us

we light four candles on the Advent

wreath because there are four weeks of

Advent the four candles represent the

four Sunday's leading up to the Nativity

of our Lord or Christmas so each week we

light an additional candle in

preparation for the coming of Christ

into the world the majority of the

candles of the Advent wreath are purple

purple has a wide range of symbolism in

ancient Rome purple was used as a symbol

for royalty it was worn only by the

Emperor Jesus was the Messiah the king

of the Jews who the Prophet spoke about

in the years before his birth so at one

level we used purple during Advent to

remember that Christ was the Messiah the

king purple is the color of two Catholic

liturgical seasons as well Advent and

Lent during Lent purple is a symbol of

prayer and penance in a similar way

purple during Advent helps us to

remember that we should prepare in a

special way we should focus in a special

way on the coming of Christ's through

prayer and penance rather than on

shopping and getting gifts for Christmas

although Advent is not a forty day fast

in preparation for Christmas we should

spend it in prayerful expectation for

the coming of Christ into the world the

rose candle which looks like pink is the

same color as the vestments used during

the liturgy during the third Sunday of

Advent the third Sunday of Advent is

called Gaudete Sunday Gaudete is a Latin

word that means rejoice which is taken

from the first word of the opening

prayer for the Liturgy of the third

Sunday of Advent on Gaudete Sunday you

rejoice because the anticipated arrival

of christ at christmas is almost here we

are truly joyful for the great things he

has done for us may the symbolism of

Advent help us to appreciate Jesus

Christ the God who saves us he has come

into the world conquered sin and death

and helps us to receive eternal life may

we recognize his close presence in our

four weeks of anticipation

first coming into the world