The Circle: God has no beginning and no end. His love is ever lasting and universal.
Evergreens: Green is the color of hope. It is a sign of our hope and belief that the Savior has come for us.
Four Candles: The Chosen People of the Old Testament waited 400 years for the coming of the Savior. Our four weeks of Advent represent our preparation and longing for the coming of Jesus.
Three Purple Candles: Purple is the color that symbolizes sorrow and repentance. It reminds us to return to the love and kindness of our Savior.
One Rose or Pink Candle: Pink represents Joy. At the third Sunday of Advent we pause in the penance and rejoice in the fact that the celebration of the coming of our Savior is almost here.
Lighted Candle: Jesus is the Light who guides us. Each Sunday an additional candle is lit.
Names / Designations of the Candles:
Candle 1: Hope and/or Patriarchs (purple)
Candle 2: Peace and/or Prophets (purple)
Candle 3: Joy and/or John the Baptist (rose)
Candle 4: Love or The Virgin Mary (purple)
Candle 5: Christ The Light of the World (white)
Week one Advent Wreath Reading
This week, we light one of the purple candles. This candle represents the Candle of Hope. We remember that in ancient times when God’s people were without resources and without direction, God sent His Son Jesus, in response to a hopeless situation. We are reminded today that we always have hope that our God will come and restore our relationship with him and provide what is necessary for faithful living in Him.
A reading from the Apostle Paul to the Roman Church regarding hope:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Let us pray:
All-powerful God, increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the Kingdom of heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Week 2 Advent Wreath Reading (Light the two purple Candles)
Week 2 of Advent we light the candle of Peace. Peace isn’t just a lack of conflict, but it is also the addition of wholeness and relational blessings. In the incarnation of Jesus, we see a God who did not leave us to our own devices, but humbly took on the virgin’s womb and human flesh to save us. This work of Jesus shows us God’s heart of reconciliation to bring us back into a beautiful relationship with Himself. We were created for this peace in relational wholeness.
A reading from the Gospel of Luke regarding Peace:
Luke 2:12-14 – “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Let us pray:
God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy so that we may share his wisdom and become one with him when he comes in glory, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Week 3 Advent Wreath Reading: (Light two purple and one Pink Candle)
Week 3 we light the pink Candle of Joy. We remember that joy is not based on the circumstances we find ourselves in, nor is it a disregard for sorrow or pain, but it is a response to a sure future hope that God provides in his Son Jesus. Firstly, in the Incarnation of Jesus’ at Christmas and secondly in the overcoming of death on the cross that purchases for us a place in heaven! Joy is a process of looking deeper into the more important things God has provided for us beyond the challenges in life.
A reading from Saint Luke
Luke 2: 8-11 - And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Let us Pray:
Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Week 4 Advent Wreath Reading:
Week 4 we light the purple candle of Love. We remember that “Agape” love is not based on performance but it flows from God who is in loving community in the Holy Trinity. Love finds its source in heaven and overflows in creation and redemption clearly seen in the birth, life and death of our Lord Jesus. He shows us the love of the Father in heaven by pouring out his life for us. Jesus is love incarnate!
A reading from Saint John
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Let us Pray:
Father, all-powerful God, your eternal Word took flesh on our earth when the Virgin Mary placed her life at the service of your plan. Lift our minds in watchful hope to hear the voice which announces his glory and open our minds to receive the Spirit who prepares us for his coming. We ask this through Chris our Lord. Amen.
Christmas Eve Christ Candle! (Light all 5 candles)
We light this candle as one of celebration; not because every evil has yet been conquered or every trial overcome, but because the mark of God’s coming is indelibly stamped in the history and destiny of this world. There is a kingdom that will prevail, long after this world’s struggles have subsided. A Kingdom whose doorway has been flung open, and the light of Christ points us to its threshold. We kindle a flame to show our desire, that this kingdom’s dawn should be made known; to draw the eyes of those who long for a better world, to the place where every such hope can be fulfilled.
We join with those who declare the certainty of God’s promise, revealed in new-born child and servant king. And so we seek the ways of this kingdom, confident that its sovereign will one day come again.
A reading from St. Luke:
Luke 2:10-11: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Let us pray:
Hasten, O Father, the coming of your kingdom; and grant that we your servants, who now live by faith, may with joy behold your Son at his coming in glorious majesty; even Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.