As a Christian tradition, the wreath holds the four Advent candles. The candles represent Jesus coming as the light in darkness. One candle is lit each Sunday until all four candles are lit, and sometimes a fifth candle is lit on Christmas. As Christmas draws nearer, each candle brings a little more light into the darkness.
Each of the candles represents an aspect of preparation during the season of Advent:
The Candle of Hope
Purple is the primary colour associated with Advent. Within the Catholic Church it symbolizes penance, preparation, and sacrifice. During the first week of Advent, we look forward to Jesus’ coming with hope.
The Candle of Peace
During this second week of Advent, we reflect on our lives and work on becoming better-versions-of-ourselves in preparation for Jesus’ coming.
The Candle of Joy
This third candle is pink, symbolizing anticipation and rejoicing. During the third week of Advent, we are filled with joy for the near arrival of Jesus on Christmas day.
The Candle of Love
During this final week of Advent we rejoice in the endless love that God has for us, which is made apparent in the birth of his Son:
“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.”
- John 3:16