The Advent Wreath and Candles

  • "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
  • - John 1:5

The Advent Wreath generally consists of four candles (three purple or blue, and one pink) set in a circle of evergreen with a fifth white candle in the center, the Christ candle. The light of the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world who comes into the darkness of our lives to bring newness, life, and hope, calling us to be lights in the world as we reflect God's grace to others (Isa 42:6). The primary reason for lighting one candle on the first week, plus another the second, and so on, is to symbolize the various aspects of our waiting experience - especially the darkness of fear and hopelessness receding and the shadows of sin falling away as more and more light is shed into the world. Finally, as the Christ candle is lighted at Christmas, the light that has been growing throughout the season is plainly visible, and those who have been waiting rejoice together that the promises of long ago have been fulfilled.

Advent candle sets are available for purchase in the All Saints Bookstore if you would like to practice this tradition in your home.