Advent is observed with the lighting of Advent candles and the display of wreaths, and with the use of greenery increasing as the season progresses toward Christmas. It is also celebrated with music heralding the birth of Jesus, expressing the suspense and anticipation that awaits this event.
The lighting of the candles is also an important symbol of the season. The flame reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world and that we are called to be a light in the world, too, reflecting God’s grace. The flame of each new candle reminds us that something good is happening, and that more is yet to come.
There are five candles in the Advent wreath; four stand within the greenery woven together, while the fifth, the Christ candle, is in the center. The candles are lit, one by one, on the Sundays preceding Christmas. The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Eve, symbolizing the coming of Christ in all his radiance and light.
The first candle traditionally represents Hope, the second Peace, the third Joy, and the fourth Love. These four are blue. The fifth, the Christ candle, is white, and its location in the center of the wreath reminds us that the birth of Jesus is the heart of the season, giving light to the world.