Christmas and Epiphany
Christmas is the actual day we celebrate the
birthday of Christ. This falls on December 25.
The "12 Days of Christmas" refers to the time
beginning with Christmas until Epiphany.
Epiphany is January 6, which celebrates the
arrival of the Wise Men bringing gifts.
This is one of the most noticeable symbols of Advent. The wreath is made of evergreens
such as holly, ivy and other types of greens. They are a reminder of the everlasting life
found with Jesus. It is in a never-ending circle, symbolizing eternal life.
There are candles, three purple candles and one pink, located around the wreath. In the
center of the wreath is a larger white one. Each Sunday, we light a different candle, usually with readings
that explain the meanings of the candles.
The first candle, a purple one, stands for HOPE. It reminds us of the hope of those that waited for the
birth in the past, and one day, return of Jesus. The second candle, also purple, stands for PEACE. It
reminds us of the peace found when we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We light both the
hope and peace candles the second week of Advent. The third candle is pink and stands for JOY,
symbolizing the joy of a life with Christ. The third Sunday of Advent, we light the candles of hope, peace,
and joy. On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we light the last purple candle. It stands for LOVE, and reminds
us of the love shown by God when He sent His Son, Jesus, for our sake, so that we might have eternal life
with sins forgiven. It also reminds us of the lessons of love Jesus taught. We light the candles of hope,
peace, joy, and love. The large white candle is called the Christ Candle. Located in the center, it reminds
us that Christ should be the center of our lives. We light it on Christmas Eve to symbolize that Jesus, the
Light of the World, has finally arrived.
What is Advent?
Advent is the beginning of the church's liturgical year. It is a
reminder of the centuries before the birth of Christ as people
waited for the prophecies to come true. There are four weeks in
the season of Advent, counting back from Christmas Day. Each
week has a theme. As we prepare our hearts, minds, and
surroundings for Christmas, we remember that we are still
waiting, but this time, for Christ's return. Read more about the
weeks of Advent in "The Advent Wreath" below..
The Advent Wreath