The Meaning of the Advent Wreath

Advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning arrival) is the 4-week  period prior to Christmas. It is a time to ponder the great sacrifice that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, made for us by coming to earth as an infant. He lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death, and arose from the dead for us. He saved us from our sins and eternal damnation because of his great love, adopting each person individually into his family through baptism and faith in him.

An advent wreath can be a teaching tool and a reminder for Christians of the true meaning of Christmas.

The Advent wreath symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent. It is typically a circular candle holder that holds five candles. During the season of Advent, one candle on the wreath is lit each Sunday until all of the candles, including the fifth candle, are lit on Christmas Day.  Each candle customarily represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Most Advent wreaths use three colors of candles – purple, pink, and white. However, some may use blue in place of the purple. The Bible readings below can be read as each candle is lit.

1st CANDLE – (purple or blue)

We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us.  Our hope comes from God!

And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.’ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 15:12-13

2nd CANDLE – (purple or blue)

God kept his promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” ~ Micah 5:2

Preparation means to “get ready”.  John the Baptist prepared the people for the arrival of Jesus.

As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’ ~ Luke 3:4-6

3rd CANDLE – (pink)

The shepherds received a message of joy!

…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” ~ Luke 2:7-15

4th CANDLE – (purple or blue)

The angels announced the good news of a Savior!

“…I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” ~ Luke 2:10b-11

God sent his only Son to earth to save us…because he loves us!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” ~ John 3:16-17

5th CANDLE – (white)

The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God who was sent to wash away our sins.  His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth!

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” ~ John 1:29


Christmas at Living Hope

Living Hope Church uses an Advent wreath as part of our Advent and Christmas worship services.  Join us as we prepare our hearts with hope, joy, and love as we eagerly look forward to Christmas, the celebration of the birth our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Learn more about Jesus :

Promised beforehand
Conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of a virgin
Grew up in Nazareth
Begins his ministry
Served the people
Suffered for all
Died for all
Rose from the dead
Ascended into heaven
Coming again