Read Archbishop Justin Welby’s sermon preached at Canterbury Cathedral the morning of Dec. 25. Christmas is full of sounds.
According to the Christian calendar, it is Advent, the season observed in many Christian churches as a time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of Christmas and the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
The birth of the Advent Wreath is traced back to the 16th Century and first utilized among German Lutherans. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent.
Three candles are purple, (though originally three candles were red) representing Expectation or Love, Hope and Purity. One candle is rose in color which represents Joy and is celebrated on Gaudete Sunday.
The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day reminding Christians that Jesus is the light of the world. The Advent wreath is wrapped in rich symbolism. The wreath itself is shaped in a circle, a reminder of the eternal existence of God.