Within Advent, there are four primary candles with their own unique significance and meaning. One of the four candles is lit on each Sunday during the Advent season. Then in some Christian traditions, there is a final fifth candle usually lit during a Christmas Eve service.
The first candle, which is purple, symbolizes hope. This Advent candle prepares us for Jesus’ arrival. We are reminded that there is hope because Jesus is coming!
The second candle represents faith, and this Advent candle is often referred to as the “Bethlehem Candle.” This purple candle serves as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s faith as they journeyed to Bethlehem. For our families, this Advent candle reminds us that we can have the same faith in our own lives.
The third candle symbolizes joy. This Advent candle is the only pink candle, and it represents of the joy of the world during the birth of Jesus. For Christians, the third Advent candle reminds us to celebrate Jesus’ arrival.
The fourth candle represents peace. This purple Advent candle reminds our families to focus on the angels’ proclamation of “Peace on Earth!” On the fourth and final week of Advent, this candle emphasizes the importance of Jesus’ arrival.
Finally, the fifth Advent candle is often referred to as the “Christ Candle.” Usually lit on Christmas Eve, the white Advent candle represents purity and the life of Christ.
Whether you are at your church or with your family, Advent wreaths are one of the most identifiable symbols during Advent. Alongside Advent candles, the Advent wreath is used to help guide Christians through the season.
Your family can buy a ready-made Advent wreath or make it on your own. One way is to make a paper Advent wreath. Or your family can make a traditional Advent wreath with these steps:
- Green crafting wire
- Plastic leaves or evergreen branches
- Four Advent candles
- Holly branches
1. With green crafting wire, fasten live or plastic evergreen branches to a wire wreath circle.
2. After you attach the first branch, lay the second branch over the end of the first so it covers the stem.
3. Then, continue in this way until you reach where you began.
4. Tuck the ends of your final branches under the beginning branches. This circle of evergreen branches reminds us of God without beginning and end, and of His faithfulness.
5. Next, set four candles in candleholders inside the wreath. Traditionally, the wreath holds three purple candles and one rose-colored candle.
6. Place the wreath in a central location in your home.