Advent Wreath by Paul Turner
An Advent wreath symbolizes our longing for the coming of Christ. The wreath is a circle of evergreen branches into which are set four candles.
Traditionally, three candles are violet and one is rose, but four violet or four white candles may also be used.
The wreath symbolizes many things. Evergreens signify God's enduring promise of redemption, evident like green branches in the midst of snow.
The circle signifies our hope for the return of Christ, whose
kingdom will have no end.
The colors of the candles
match the traditional colors of the vesture for the four
Sundays of Advent. Violet garments signify our
penitent hope for salvation. The rose color, which may be
worn on Advent's Third Sunday, signals that the sea-
son is nearly over joy is at hand!
The wreath's most luminous symbol is its growing
One candle is lit on the First Sunday of Advent,
two on the Second, three on the Third and all four on
In the northern hemisphere. Advent comes at a time when the days decrease to their shortest
length. As the hours of darkness increase, we light
more candles on the wreath. The wreath, which
symbolizes the coming of Christ, grows in intensity as the
anniversary of Jesus' birth draws near.
The Advent wreath may be used at home or at church.
It should be blessed on the First Sunday of Advent after the homily at Mass, at Evening Prayer Saturday night, or during a prayer service that includes
biblical readings and Advent songs.
At home, the
wreath could be blessed by a family member and lit
during the evening meal to remind everyone of the
true meaning of this holy season.