The Beauty of the Advent Wreath

The Advent Wreath is a long-standing Christmas tradition, adding beauty and light to the season. However, it is easy to let slip the true meaning of Christmas it is meant to call to mind. The wreath is a circle, without beginning or end, symbolizing our participation in God’s plan of salvation, and our hope to share eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. The traditional wreath is made from fresh, natural materials, because Christ came to give us new life through His passion, death and resurrection. There are three purple or white (depending on tradition) candles, symbolizing penance, preparation and sacrifice. The pink (or rose) colored candle symbolizes the same ideas, but it highlights the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), when we rejoice because our preparation is now halfway finished. The light itself represents Christ. Some modern adaptations include a white candle in the middle of the wreath which also represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Eve. The progression of lighting candles shows our increasing readiness to meet our Lord. -From an article by Fr. William Saunders