The word Advent derives from the Latin word meaning coming. Basically, it is a countdown to Christmas day from the first Sunday after Thanksgiving and can also be thought of as a new year of the Church. The Lord is coming. During Advent we recall the history of God's people and reflect on how the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament were fulfilled. This gives us a background for the present. Today we can reflect on the past track record of God and so begin to understand what it means to us now for the sake of what is to come, in our own future and that of our world.
As mentioned earlier, Advent worship is like a journey through the Christmas story and most often people use Advent wreaths for the same. The circle of the wreath, made of evergreen branches laid flat, remind us of God, His eternity and His mercy, both which have no beginning or end. The four candles on the wreath represent the hope, preparation, joy and love, where the third candle is light pink and all others are purple, as seen in the figure. These are lit in the same order, one every Sunday.
The first candle symbolizes faith in God keeping his promises to humanity. Read Romans 15:12-13
The second reminds Christians to "get ready" to receive God. Read Luke 3:4-6
The third candle recalls the angels joyfully singing about the birth of Christ. Read Luke 2:6-15
The fourth reminds Christians that God loves them enough to send his only Son to Earth. Read John 3:16-17
The final central candle, the Christ candle is lit the day before Christmas and symbolises what John 8:12 says, When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (NIV)
P.S.:Thank you Navya Varghese for reminding me :)
This post might be updated or further new posts added from time to time. Please check the main blog.