Advent candles

A Guide to Lighting the Advent Candles

Advent candles

If you celebrate Advent candles, you probably have a beautiful Advent wreath with four candles – but do you know the correct order of Advent candles? Read on to find out.

Lighting the Advent candles is a wonderful method for Christians to contemplate the significance of Christ’s birth. The ritual, traditionally Catholic but taken up by Christians in the Middle Ages, lasts for 4 weeks leading up to Christmas and is meant to let you and your loved ones reflect on the true meaning of the occasion.

As a lovely reminder of the season’s true meaning, you may set up Advent wreath with candles in your own house.

How to Light the Advent Candles

Part 1: Set Up

  • Place a holiday wreath on a spacious area

You can order an Advent candle wreath or buy a regular one and install candle holders. The wreath should be on a flat surface and a visible spot, such as the living space or the kitchen table.

  • Three purple candles should be added to the wreath

The primary Advent candles are purple, each representing a different concept. Around the wreath, place three purple candles in each candle holder, keeping them far from anything combustible.

  • On the wreath, place one pink candle. 

The pink candle is colorful and lively because pleasure is what it stands for. Last, on the wreath, place this candle. Pick a light pink candle that matches your purple candles in design.

  • To symbolize Christ, place a white candle at the wreath’s center

You can decide whether to use a white candle in the middle because not every religion does. Place a large white candle in the wreath’s center to be lit on Christmas Eve. 

Although a white candle is customary, more contemporary Advent wreaths typically don’t include one. Ask your religious leader about it if you need help making a choice. Use a candle with a picture of Jesus rather than a plain white one as it depicts Christ.

  • Tell your relatives what each candle symbolizes

You should explain to small children the true meaning of Christmas and the date of Jesus’ birth. As you assemble your Advent wreath, you may discuss the holiday’s origins and what it means to you personally.

Advent wreaths serve as a lovely reminder of what the Christmas celebration is all about since it tends to be focused on receiving presents and material possessions.

Part Two: Candle Lighting

  • First Sunday

On the first Sunday of Advent, light the first candle. You can opt to read Isaiah 64:1–9 to go along with lighting the first candle. First purple candle symbolizes the optimism that individuals experienced before the birth of Jesus. 

A hymn like “O Come Divine Messiah”  is equally appropriate. You can keep the light burning until your family has sung a song or read a passage from the Bible. 

Before leaving home or going to bed, remember to blow it out. Every year, the first Sunday of Advent falls on a different day, but it’s often towards the end of November.

  • Second Sunday

When you ignite the second candle the next Sunday, think about your spiritual faith. The first and second purple candles should be lit during the second Sunday of the advent season. 

The second Advent candle symbolizes faith and how people viewed God before the birth of Jesus; after lighting it,  read Isaiah 40:1-11. Give everyone in the family a turn lighting an Advent candle if you’re doing it together.

You can choose whether or not to constantly light your candles in a clockwise circle, contrary to the advice of certain traditionalists.

  • Third Sunday

On the third Sunday, light the pink advent candle to symbolize joy. As you observe the candle burn, contemplate what joy and religion mean.

The Shepherds Candle is another name for the third advent candle. It represents people’s pleasure at the birth of Jesus, and you can read John 1:6-8, 8-11 while lighting this candle.

  • Fourth Advent Sunday

On the final Sunday of Advent, light all four advent candles simultaneously, including the purple candle that has yet to be lit. 

The last candle, which symbolizes waiting for the return of Jesus Christ, allows you to express your enthusiasm and expectation for Christmas. As you light this candle, read Luke 1:26-38.

  • On Christmas Eve, ignite the white candle

The white advent candle symbolizes Christ’s arrival. You may burn this candle with your family on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

The white candle symbolizes the innocence and absence of sin that Jesus had at birth.

Purpose and Symbolism Of Advent Wreath and Candles

Advent comprises the  4 Sundays and weekdays that lead up to Christmas. We prepare our hearts and thoughts throughout the Advent season for the Christmas holiday, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Each week, Christians light candles and hang an Advent wreath to mark the beginning of Advent. In the Middle Ages, Christians  considered Advent wreaths and candles as essentials for the spiritual preparations for Christmas. It’s a Catholic custom that has been around for a long time.

Meaning Of Advent Wreath

The advent candles and wreath are loaded with Christmas-related symbolism. Typically, the wreath itself, composed of many types of evergreens, represents unbroken life.

The wreath’s circle has neither beginning nor an end and stands in for God’s eternities, the soul’s immortality, and the eternal life we discover in Christ.

Additionally, the various evergreens used to create the wreath have symbolic meanings that may be tailored to fit our religious beliefs. 

The laurel represents success over adversity and hardship. The cedar represents power and recovery, while yew, holly, and pine represent immortality. 

The wreath’s pine cone decorations stand for rebirth and life. Generally, the entire wreath is intended to remind us of our soul’s immortality and God’s promise to give us everlasting life through Christ.

Meaning Of Advent Candles

The advent candles also have a unique meaning of their own. One candle is lit every Sunday to symbolize the four weeks of Advent. Since the violet color is a liturgical one that denotes a period of prayer, repentance, and sacrifice, four of the advent candles are purple.

Hope is reflected by the first candle, which is purple. In honor of the prophets, particularly Isaiah, who prophesied the birth of Christ, it’s occasionally referred to as the “Prophecy Candle.” It symbolizes the eagerness felt in expectation of the Messiah’s arrival.

The second candle, which is purple as well, symbolizes faith. As it serves as a memory of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, it’s known as the “Bethlehem Candle.”

The third advent candle is pink and signifies happiness. Rose is a religious color for joy. Therefore, the third advent candle is known as the “Shepherds Candle” and is pink. 

Gaudete Sunday, which falls on the third Sunday of Advent, is a reminder of the joy the world felt upon the birth of Jesus and the delight that the faithful have arrived at the midway of Advent.

The last purple advent candle is used during the fourth Advent week to symbolize the last week of fasting and prayer before the birth of Jesus Christ’s Savior. The “Angel’s Candle,” the last candle, stands for peace. It makes us think of the angels’ proclamation of “World peace, Good Will Toward Men.”

Meaning Of White Advent Candle 

The white advent candle is the modern-day variation that has gained popularity. On Christmas Eve, the white advent candle is set in the center of the wreath. It’s the  “Christ Candle”  that symbolizes Christ’s life. Christ is our  Savior, and the color white stands for purity.

Advent candles


Advent celebrations are an excellent way to mentally and emotionally prepare for Christmas. The candles of Advent represent hope, joy, love, and peace. These are the same values that we celebrate at Christmas. As we light each candle in our homes, may we be reminded of God’s promises to us and of the great gift that Jesus is to the world.