Carolyn gave a talk this week at Kumeu Village Rest Home and Marcia suggested that we should share it with everyone.
The beginning of Advent is a time for the hanging the green decoration of the church with evergreen wreaths, boughs, or trees that help to symbolise the new and everlasting life brought through Jesus the Christ.
The Advent wreath is a symbol of the beginning of the Church year. It is a circular evergreen wreath with five candles, four around the wreath and one in the centre.
The circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end.
The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life.
Candles symbolise the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son. It also reminds us that we are called to be a light to the world as we reflect the light of God’s grace to others (Isa 42:6).
The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolise the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.
The colours of the candles vary with different traditions, but there are usually three purple candles, and one pink candle and a white candle in the centre (or the outer candles may be red). Each Sunday of Advent one of the candles is lit.
The first candle is traditionally the candle of Hope. This draws attention to the anticipation of the coming of an Anointed One, a Messiah, that weaves its way through Old Testament history.
The second candle is the candle of Peace. Jesus is our PEACE.
The third candle is the candle of Joy – the angels sang a message of JOY!
The fourth candle is the candle of love– the angles announced the good news of a Saviour sent to us by God because He loves us!
The centre candle is white and is called the Christ Candle. It is traditionally lit on Christmas Day.
The central location of the Christ Candle reminds us that the incarnation is the heart of the season, giving light to the world.