Advent marks the beginning of the Christian year. It is the four weeks before Christmas beginning on November 30 or the nearest Sunday to it. This is the Church’s New Year’s Day. The word Advent comes from the Latin ‘adventus’ which means ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’. This time for Christians is a season of hope and the period of preparation for celebration of the birth of Jesus. They also look forward to the time that Jesus will come again.

The candles act as reminders to Christians:

The first candle is the candle of ‘Hope’, so prayers on this day focus on hope. This candle represents the ‘Patriarchs’ such as Abraham and David.

The second candle is a symbol of God’s ‘Peace’. This candle reminds Christians of the Prophets who foretold that the Messiah would be born.

The third candle represents ‘Love’ and stands for John the Baptist who baptised Jesus.

The fourth candle symbolises ‘Joy’ and when this candle is lit Christians remember Mary the mother of Jesus who was joyful when the angel Gabriel told her she was to have a special baby.

The fifth candle reminds Christians of the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.

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