Celebrating Advent: Advent Candles What You Need To Know


Advent is a season of preparation that leads up to Christmas. It is typically marked by the lighting of an Advent candle each week. There are four candles, each representing a different aspect of the season.

The first candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent and marks the beginning of the season representing hope. The second candle is lit on the second Sunday, and it represents love. The third candle is lit on the third Sunday and expresses joy. The fourth and final candle is lit on Sunday, meaning peace.

This article will focus on the meaning behind each candle and what it represents for the Advent season. We will also discuss the importance of Advent and how you can celebrate it with your loved ones.

Three candles in the middle of a wreath.

What is Advent?

Advent is a season of the Christian year observed in preparation for celebrating the Nativity of Jesus Christ at Christmas. It typically lasts four weeks, beginning on the Sunday nearest St. Andrew’s Day (November 30) and ending on Christmas Eve (December 24). The advent calendar is a popular way to count the days until Christmas.

Advent is a season of preparation that leads up to Christmas. It is typically marked by the lighting of an Advent candle each week. There are four candles, each representing a different aspect of the season.

What is the meaning of Advent?

“Advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.” Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for celebrating the Nativity of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that during Advent, we are preparing our hearts and minds to receive Christ into our lives.

How do we celebrate Advent?

One of the most popular ways to celebrate Advent is to use an Advent calendar. Advent calendars are special calendars that have 25 days, counting down from December 1st to Christmas Day. Each day has a little door or window that can be opened to reveal a small treat, such as a piece of chocolate.

Many families also have an Advent wreath with four candles representing Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. On each Sunday of Advent, a new candle is lit until all four candles are burning on Christmas Eve. Families often sing Advent carols and read Bible passages about the coming of Christ.

What is the history of Advent?

Advent has been observed since the 4th century. Advent was originally a time of fasting and penance in preparation for Christmas. Over time, it became more of a time of joyful anticipation and celebration. The Advent wreath is a relatively recent addition to the tradition, appearing in the 16th century. The first known Advent calendar was created in 1851 by German Protestant theologian Johann Hinrich Wichern. Advent calendars became more popular in the 20th century, and today they are a beloved tradition for many families.

Advent is a particular time of year when we prepare our hearts and minds to receive Christ into our lives. By using an Advent calendar, lighting Advent candles, singing Advent carols, and reading Bible passages about the coming of Christ, we can all participate in this beautiful season of expectant waiting and preparation.

What are the Advent candles in order?

The first candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent and marks the beginning of the season. The second candle is lit on the second Sunday, and it represents hope. The third candle is lit on the third Sunday and represents love. The fourth and final candle is lit on Sunday, meaning peace.

What do the four candles of advent represent?

The four Advent candles represent the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day. They are lit every Sunday starting from the first Sunday of Advent.

The first candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent, marks the beginning of the season, and represents hope. The second candle is lit on the second Sunday, and it represents hope. The third candle is lit on the third Sunday and represents love. The fourth and final candle is lit on Sunday, meaning peace.

Candle 1 – Hope

The first candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent and represents hope. This candle is also known as the Prophecy Candle, as it means the prophets who foretold the coming of Christ. It represents gods forgiveness of our sins and the hope of eternal life.

Candle 2 – Love

The second candle is lit on the second Sunday of Advent and represents love. This candle is also known as the Bethlehem Candle because it means the town where Jesus was born. This candle reminds us of God’s love for us, demonstrated through the birth of His Son.

Candle 3 – Joy

The third candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent and represents joy. This candle is also known as the Shepherds Candle because it means the joy that the shepherds felt when they saw the baby Jesus. It reminds us that Jesus came to bring joy to the world.

Candle 4 – Peace

The fourth and final candle is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent and represents peace. This candle is also known as the Angel’s Candle because it means the peace that Jesus brings to the world. The angels appeared to the shepherds and announced that the Savior had been born.

Advent candles are a beautiful tradition that helps us to prepare our hearts for Christmas. Each candle represents a different aspect of the season, and as we light them each week, we are reminded of the hope, love, and peace that Jesus brings to the world.

What are the four colours of Advent in order?

The first and second candle is purple, the third is pink, and the fourth is white. We have listed the meanings of these colours below:

Purple: royalty, penance

The purple candles represent the Advent weeks traditionally set aside for preparation and repentance. This is when we reflect on our sins and ask for forgiveness in anticipation of Christ’s coming. The purple also represents royalty which depicts the coming of Christ as the King of Kings.

Pink: joy

The pink candle represents the third week of Advent, which is a time of joyous celebration. This is because it marks the halfway point to Christmas, and we can start to feel the excitement of the approaching holiday.

White: purity, peace

The white candle represents the fourth week of Advent, a time of purity and peace. This is because it is the final week before Christmas, and we are preparing our hearts and minds to receive Christ into our lives. The white represents the purity of Christ.

How to light Advent candles?

To light an Advent candle, you will need a lighter or matches. Choose one person to light the first candle on the first Sunday of Advent. On the following Sundays, whoever lit the candle the previous week will relight it, and then someone else will light the new candle for that week.

You should gather your family before your evening meal on each Sunday of Advent. If you are lighting the candles at a different time, ensure everyone is present before you begin.

Begin by saying a prayer, such as the one below:

“Lord, we light these candles today in hope, love, and joy as we wait for your coming into our hearts this Christmas. Help us remember that you are the world’s light, and guide us as we journey through this Advent season. Amen.”

After the prayer, light each candle, starting with the first candle. As you light each candle, say a short phrase about what it represents. For example:

“This first candle represents hope. We light it in the hope of Christ’s coming into our hearts this Christmas.”

Then, enjoy some time together as a family. You could sing Advent songs, read the Bible, or discuss what you look forward to about Christmas. Extinguish the candles before you leave the room.

Lighting the Advent candles is a beautiful way to prepare for Christmas and remember the season’s true meaning. Christ came into the world to bring hope, love, joy, and peace, and we can reflect on that each week as we light the Advent candles.

Are advent candles lit every night?

Advent candles are lit every night and extinguished once you have left the room. Light one candle the first week working up to all 4 in the final week of Advent. If you choose to use the fifth candle, light the last candle on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

If you cannot light the candles every night, you can still enjoy their beauty and meaning by lighting them on Sundays or other special occasions during Advent. Whatever you do, don’t forget to extinguish the flames before you leave the room!

What are the Sundays of Advent?

You can see the Sundays of Advent table below for previous and coming years.

2022 – 27 November to 24 December

2023 – 3 December to 24 December

2024 – 1 December to 24 December

2025 – 30 November to 24 December

2026 – 29 November to 19 December

How to celebrate Advent in your own home

Now that you know the meaning behind each Advent candle, you may wonder how you can celebrate this particular season in your home. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Get an Advent calendar and light a candle each day leading up to Christmas.
  2. Set up an Advent wreath in your home and light a candle each week.
  3. Make an Advent Jesse tree to help you and your family learn about the Old Testament prophets who foretold Jesus’ coming.
  4. Read the Christmas story from the Bible each day leading up to Christmas.
  5. Pray each day for someone who is struggling during this season.
  6. Serve the needy in your community and share the love of Christ with them.
  7. Give a gift to someone struggling financially this holiday season.
  8. Reach out to a lonely neighbour and invite them over for Christmas dinner.
  9. Make a list of things you are grateful for and read it aloud each night during Advent.
  10. Spend time with your family and friends and cherish your time together.

FAQs Advent Candles & Advent

Is Advent 4 or 5 candles?

Advent is traditionally four candles, but some people choose to add a 5th candle (often called the Christ Candle) to represent Jesus. This candle is lit in the centre of the Advent wreath and is white to symbolize purity. The candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

If a fifth candle is used, the Peace candle becomes purple alongside the candles of Hope and Love. Joy remains pink, and the Christ candle becomes the white candle.

Why is purple the colour of Advent?

The colour purple is associated with royalty and penance. The Advent season is a time of preparation and repentance, so purple represents this aspect. The purple also symbolizes the coming of Christ as the King of Kings.

How long do you keep Advent candles lit?

Advent candles are typically kept lit for about 20 minutes. However, you can burn them for a longer or shorter period.

How are Advent candles extinguished?

Advent candles are typically extinguished by blowing them out or with a wick dipper. Some people let them burn out naturally after the final candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Day.

We encourage you to read our article on how to extinguish candles properly within your home. You can also check out our article that answers whether you should allow candles to burn out on their own.

Final Thoughts

Advent is a particular time of year when we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. We are reminded of the hope, love, and peace He brings to the world by lighting Advent candles. We can also celebrate Advent in our own homes by doing things like reading the Christmas story from the Bible, praying for others, and serving those in need. Whatever you do to celebrate Advent, make sure you take time to enjoy this particular season with your loved ones.

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