THE ADVENT WREATH is part of our long-standing Catholic tradition. The symbolism of the Advent wreath is beautiful. The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. A tradition is that each week represents one thousand years, to sum to the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the Birth of the Savior. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead. The light again signifies Christ, the Light of the world. Some modern day adaptions include a white candle placed in the middle of the wreath, which represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Eve. Since Advent is a time to re-kindle our faith in the Lord, the wreath and its prayers provide us a way to extend this special preparation for Christmas. Moreover, this tradition helps us to remain vigilant in our homes and not lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas.
Join us at Mass this weekend!