The Advent Wreath Tradition
An Advent wreath is used during the season of Advent to help us focus on preparation for the coming of our Lord at Christmas. One or more candles is lit every day and a prayer is said. The prayer often includes a scripture reference.
The wreath stands for the everlasting and unchanging love of God. Just as evergreen branches stay green throughout the year, so God’s love is steady and constant. And the circular shape is because God is eternal and has no beginning or end.
The wreath has four candles, three purple and one pink. These represent the four weeks of Advent. Each week you light an additional candle. The purple candles stand for royalty, for Christ our King. The pink candle stands for joy, since we are halfway through Advent. The word “Gaudete” means rejoice.
So here is the theme and the candles for each week of Advent:
- Week 1 is for “hope”. Light one purple candle
- Week 2 is for “peace”. Light two purple candles
- Week 3 is for “joy”. Light two purple candles and the pink candle.
- Week 4 is for “love”. Light all four candles.
Sometimes a fifth, white candle is placed in the center of the wreath. This is called the Christ candle and it is lit on Christmas, along with the other candles.
Advent Wreath Prayers
Typically there is a short reading or prayer for each day. This can be just a scripture verse or a longer reading.
The prayer sheet given here has just a Bible verse. It is appropriate for younger children. If you want a longer reading, look up the verse in your Bible and read the larger context.
More Advent Resources
Do a blessing when you put up your Christmas tree. This will help reinforce the meaning of the season with children.
This is a simple prayer service for when you hang your wreath on your door or in your home or classroom.
Learn more about the purpose of the Advent season