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The Symbolism of the Candles and Sabbath Celebrations - Observing Advent

Deepens Meaning of Christmas. How the Church marks each Sunday during the
Christmas season in preparation for and in celebration of the birth day of Christ.
Many churches and families use an advent wreath to aid in the celebration of
Christmas. An advent wreath includes five candles. There are four candles, one
for each Sunday leading to Christmas and a fifth candle for Christmas day. The
four Sunday candles are usually tapers. There are variations in the coloring of
the candles, often there are three purple and one pink candle. Occasionally, all of
the candles are purple. The central candle is usually a large white pillar candle.
The purple represents repentance. The pink symbolizes joy. The white symbolizes
purity of Jesus Christ. The central candle is called the Christ candle and is not lit
until Christmas day. When you light the candle it is customary to read a few
verses of scripture that relate to meaning of the candle. Often the person who
lights the candle recites a short statement of belief and faith as the candle is lit
and then we unite in prayer; the prayer of Advent is still:
Come, O Come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel!
The circle of candles reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy,
which has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that
we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. Candles
symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son.
The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays
of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the
prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.
The light of the candles itself becomes an important symbol of the season. The
light reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world that comes into the darkness
of our lives to bring newness, life, and hope. It also reminds us that we are
called to be a light to the world as we reflect the light of God's grace to others
(Isa 42:6). The progression in the lighting of the candles symbolizes the various
aspects of our waiting experience. As the candles are lighted over the four week
period, it also symbolizes the darkness of fear and hopelessness receding and
the shadows of sin falling away as more and more light is shed into the world.
The flame of each new candle reminds the worshippers that something is
happening, and that more is yet to come. Finally, the light that has come into
the world is plainly visible as the Christ candle is lighted at Christmas, and
worshippers rejoice over the fact that the promise of long ago has been realized.

The First Candle (The Candle of Expectation or Hope/Prophecy) BLUE/PURPLE

The first candle is sometimes called the candle of prophecy because it
symbolizes the promises the prophets delivered as messages from God; promises
that foretold Christ’s birth. Others consider the candle to be a symbol of the
hope we have in
Christ and so it is called the Hope candle.
Prophetic Verse: Arise, shine; For you light has come! And the glory of the Lord is
risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep
darkness the people But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen
upon you. Isaiah 60: 1-3
The Fulfillment of Prophecy: ‘Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of
Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Mathew 24:44

The Second Candle (The Candle of the Way) BLUE/PURPLE “SALVATION”

The second candle shows that Christ is the Way. Christians are lost in sin and
Christ is the Light sent into the world to show
them the way out of darkness.
Leading Us to the Kingdom of Heaven: “In those days, John the Baptist appeared
in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has
come now.” Matthew 3: 1-2
Advent the Season of Hope Before Christmas
Jesus’ Proclamation of His Purpose: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth,
and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14: 6

The Third Candle (The Candle of Joy) ROSE/PINK “JOY”

The third candle indicates that the only lasting Joy to be found in life on earth is
through Christ. All other joy is fleeting and does not last.
Prophetic Verse: “and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion
with singing; everlasting joy will crown their gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 35: 10
Fulfillment of Prophecy: “Then as He was now drawing near the descent of the
Mount of Olive, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise
God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: ‘Blessed is
the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the
highest!’” Luke 19: 37-38
The Ultimate Completion of Prophecy: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to
you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’”

The Fourth Candle (The Candle of Peace) BLUE/PURPLE “PEACE”

The fourth candle reminds that Jesus comes to bring Peace to both the world
and to people's hearts. Without Christ there is no peace in this world.
Prophetic Verse: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. And the
government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful
Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah
Fulfillment of Prophecy: “...the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light
to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the
way of peace.” Luke 1: 78b-79
“And when the parents brought in the Christ Jesus, to do for Him according to
the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
‘Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to your word;
for my eyes have seen Your salvation which you have prepared before the face
of all peoples; a light to bring revleation to the Gentiles and the glory of Your
people Israel. Luke 2: 27b-32

The Fifth Candle (The Christ Candle or Christmas Candle) WHITE “JESUS-YAHWEH
The fifth candle represents Christ himself who is born to save people from their
sins. It is a celebration of the fulfillment of prophecy as represented in Christ’s
birth and hope in the final fulfillment when Christ comes again and Christians
join him.
Prophetic Verse: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Thou hast
multiplied the nation, thou hast increased its joy; they rejoice before thee as with
joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his
burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken
as on the day of Mid'ian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a
child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder,
and his name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace." Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be
no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to
uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for
evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” Isaiah 9:2-7
Fulfillment of Prophecy: “...a Savior has been born to you: He is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:11
A Blessing: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of
God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2
This document was prepared by Alžběta MadraGana