The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Advent Wreath

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The Advent Wreath is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent. It is usually a horizontal evergreen wreath with four or five candles.

Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, the lighting of a candle is accompanied by a prayer. An additional candle is lit during each subsequent week until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit. Some Advent wreaths include a fifth, "Christ" candle, which can be lit at Christmas. In Catholic and Anglican churches, the most popular colours for the Advent candles are purple and rose. In the Western church, purple is the historic liturgical colour for three of the four Sundays of Advent: once the colour associated with royalty, it symbolizes Christ as the Prince of Peace." Rose is the colour for the Third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday from the Latin word "rejoice." Gaudete Sunday anticipates the joy of the Christmas celebration, so its colour is a mixture of Advent purple and Christmas white. Other variations of the Advent wreath add a white candle in the center to symbolise Christmas, sometimes known as the "Christ candle." It can be lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

The accumulation of light over Advent is an expression of the growing anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world, the circular wreath represents God's eternity and unity, and evergreens are a symbol of enduring life.

Tales from Corpus Christi back next week.

Published Fri 28th Nov 2014 12:57:23

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