The Meaning of Advent

Dr. Paul R. Fetters

This year, 2011, the first Sunday of Advent is November 27. Traditionally, Advent, from the Latin advenus (coming), is a period of preparation and anticipation in celebration of the birth of Christ.

During the period of Advent, Christians traditionally light a candle each Sunday during worship at church and at home. Throughout the Advent season, five candles are lit–one for each of the four Sundays and one for Christmas Day.

  • On the first, second, and fourth Sundays, we light purple candles to remind us of the royalty of the coming celebration of the birth of our King Jesus.
  • On the third Sunday, we light the rose candle.
  • On Christmas day, we light the white, Christ candle.

On the first Sunday, we celebrate HOPE. In most churches we recognize the three comings of Jesus–His first advent of being born into this world, next the advent of His being born again in our lives, and finally the anticipation of the hope of His coming again.

On the second Sunday, we light a second purple candle celebrating our FAITH.

On the third Sunday, we light the rose candle celebrating the JOY of His presence in our lives.

Then, on the fourth Sunday, we light the third purple candle in celebration of our wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of PEACE.

On Christmas Day, the white Christ candle will be lit in full celebration recognizing the LOVE of God who loved the world so much that He sent his only begotten Son, so that we might have eternal life.

1 Comment
  • Andrew Bowen
    Posted at 10:14h, 22 November

    I should probably know this, but why a rose candle on the JOY Sunday? Is purple not a joyous enough color with which to continue? Hmmm…

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