Advent is a Liturgical period of four weeks, which prepares us for Christ’s birth. At the center of Advent celebrations are the Lord’s first coming in the flesh and that at the end of times. So salvation and fulfillment, past and present, promise and crowning speak in a special way of God’s love for his people. Advent Season also refers to Jesus’ constant coming. Between the two comings Mother Church celebrates our Savior’s constant manifestation. In this way, our life on earth is but a preparation to encounter Him with songs of praise and deeds of charity.
Advent wreath is a wide spread tradition in the Catholic Church. The first candle, which is purple, symbolizes hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah. The second candle, also purple, represents faith. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. The third candle is pink and symbolizes joy. It is called the “Shepard’s Candle,” and is pink because rose is a liturgical color for joy. It is “Gaudete Sunday” and is meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that the faithful have reached the midpoint of Advent.
On the fourth week of Advent, we light the final purple candle to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait for the birth of our Savior. This candle, the “Angel’s Candle,” symbolizes peace. It reminds us of the message of the angels:
“Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men.” Christmas is then celebrated with great joy because God is with us! He is God’s gift to humanity. He is the Light of the World that became flesh to show us the way to the Father! May our prayer for the virtues of Hope, Faith, Joy and Peace be heard! May each one of us, transformed by God’s living Word, let Baby Jesus dwell in us!
From the bottom of our hearts, we extend our sincere greeting of peace and unity. Merry Christmas and a blessed 2020 to all!
Fr Eduardo, Fr Rosemond, St Ann’s Staff