Advent is the time of year we prepare for the second coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ while reflecting on what His first coming has offered us. Celebrating Advent was thought to have begun in the 4th century as a 40 day fast in preparation for Christmas. Others attribute a more contemporary celebration of Advent to the 1800’s.
While the modern use is in the form of a wreath, I decided a few years ago that I wanted to give the advent candles a more prominent place in our home as well as visually having a reminder of the meanings of each candle. Normally the wreath consists of 5 candles. 3 purple, 1 pink, and 1 white. Each of these candles have a significant meaning.
On the first Sunday of Advent a purple candle is lit called the Prophecy Candle or Hope Candle. It brings to remembrance all those who foretold of Christ’s birth.
On the second Sunday another purple candle is lit called the Bethlehem Candle, Faith Candle, or Love Candle. Depending on the source it represents the manger, the prophecies surrounding Christ’s humble beginnings, or the Bible.
On the third Sunday a pink candle is lit called the Shepherd’s Candle or Joy Candle. It represents the joy of knowing His coming is near. In some churches there is a tradition that it is the time of “stirring”.
On the fourth Sunday a purple candle is lit called the Angel’s Candle or Peace Candle. It represents the announcement of Christ’s birth.
On Christmas Eve or on Christmas day, the final candle, a white candle is lit called the Christ Candle. It represents the sinless, spotless Lamb that washes away all our sins.
Each week we read Scriptures that tie into our Advent focus. You might choose just one to use all week, or a different one each day.
Knowing I wanted the candles to remain lit often and knowing that I didn’t want to buy stock in a candle factory, I purchased 5 LED white candles. One candle is taller than the others, this would be the Christ Candle. I created labels using a sheet of 10 clear labels. I made one for each candle, naming it for the appropriate week and coloring the text according to each week’s advent tradition. Once printed, all I needed to do was place a label on each of the candles. When the candles are lit, we can read what each candle represents. Placing it on the mantle next to our Christmas tree, my family is able to see and remember the real reason for the season.
If you would like a PDF copy of the labels I made, you can download it here: Advent Candle Labels.
It is my hope this simple decorating project is one small help in keeping Christ the focus of your Christmas season.