"Customarily the Advent
Wreath is constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which
are inserted four candles. According to tradition, three of the
candles are violet and the fourth is rose. However, four violet or
white candles may also be used” (Book of Blessings 1510).
The rose candle is lit the third Sunday of Advent, for this color
anticipates and symbolizes the Christmas joy announced in the first
word of the Entrance Antiphon: "Rejoice" (Latin, Gaudete). For this
reason the Third Sunday is also called Gaudete Sunday, and rose
color vestments are permitted.
The Advent Wreath represents the long time when people lived in
spiritual darkness, waiting for the coming of the Messiah, the Light
of the world. Each year in Advent people wait once again in darkness
for the coming of the Lord, His historical coming in the mystery of
Bethlehem, His final coming at the end of time, and His special
coming in every moment of grace.
During Advent, family and friends can gather around the Advent
Wreath lighting the appropriate candle(s), read from the daily
Advent meditation and sing songs. The Church's official Book of
Blessings also provides a blessing ceremony for the advent wreath
which can be used in the absence of