The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Advent is a time of expectation and hope. “Advent” means “arrival” or “coming”.
The season of Advent lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The most common Advent tradition is the decoration of the wreathes and the candles.
The Advent wreath was created out of evergreens, symbolizing everlasting life in the midst of winter and death. The circle reminds us of God’s unending love and the eternal life. Advent candles are often nestled in the evergreen wreath. Families begin lighting a candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and they light another candle each subsequent Sunday.
Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary.
Occasionally, a fifth white candle is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
The first candle symbolizes hope and is called the “Prophet’s Candle.” The prophets of the Old Testament, especially Isaiah, waited in hope for the Messiah’s arrival.
The second candle represents faith and is called “Bethlehem’s Candle.” Micah had foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which is also the birthplace of King David.
The third candle symbolizes joy and is called the “Shepherd’s Candle.” To the shepherd’s great joy, the angels announced that Jesus came for humble, unimportant people like them, too. In liturgy, the color rose signifies joy.
The fourth candle represents peace and is called the “Angel’s Candle.” The angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace–He came to bring people close to God and to each other again.
The (optional) fifth candle represents light and purity and is called “Christ’s Candle.” It is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day
Christmas is not only the happiest time on the planet, to rejoice, but it is also a time to reflect.
Amidst all the celebrations, decorations and feasting, let’s take moment and ponder on the life we have lived for the past 12 months.
While we light up our houses with twinkling fairy lights, candles and lanterns, let us remember not only the birth of Christ, but also the goodness of humanity around us. Let us spend sometime today to sit in meditative silence and light a few candles within our hearts.
Light the First Candle and let it burn your anger and / or jealousy that you may have for any one till date; and slowly visualise it melt away…
Light the Second Candle and let it burn away unwanted greed and desires… Feel happy and contented with all that you have been blessed with.
Light the Third Candle and let it fade away all insecurities that you may have in your mind related to your finances, your job, or your future. Just believe that if God has presented you with a life then he will surely give you enough to survive.
Light the Fourth Candle and carry the flame of that candle to each part of your body, letting it burn away all your diseased cells or any disease in making. Feel healthy as this flame travels to each body part and illuminates each organ.
The Fifth Candle is a replica of a miniature Sun… the divine light… visualize the rays of the sun in the centre of your body and let it fill the warmth and love engulfing your whole body…feel one with the Divine… let the love and warmth filled inside you radiate through your smile, your eyes, and your speech.
Wishing you all a very Merry and Happy Christmas.
God bless !