Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Advent Season. Advent is comprised of the four Sundays preceding the Christmas holiday. Historically, Advent is the beginning of the church calendar for the Western church. It is both a remembrance of Christ’s arrival, as well as embracing the expectation of His imminent return.
Advent is accompanied by many traditions, including the use of an Advent wreath to mark the occasion. Each Sunday before Christmas, a new candle is lit: the first candle the first Sunday, then the first two candles the following Sunday, etc.
In some traditions, each candle has its own specific meaning. The first candle is the “prophet’s candle,” followed by the “Bethlehem candle,” then the “shepherd’s candle” and then the “angel’s candle.” Some traditions even light a fifth and final “Christ candle” on Christmas Sunday.
The prophet’s candle was meant to symbolize the hopeful expectation of Christ’s arrival. The post that follows shall be the first in an intermittent series celebrating the incarnation.