As Advent draws to a close, let’s contemplate on all four weeks: Hope, Peace, Joy and finally, the candle of Love! This article explains it far better than I ever could so close your eyes and think about all that each represents.
What Is the Candle of Love and the Christ Candle for Advent? Week 4
Four candles decorate the outer edges of the Advent wreath, and one white candle sits in the middle, the Christ candle. In the final week of Advent, churches will light two candles, the candle of love and the Christ candle.
Hope Bolinger – Author
As a reminder for our candles of advent series, we’ve covered the different candles the church lights weekly, starting with the first week in December, and leading up to the week of Christmas.
Churches will typically adorn an Advent wreath during December. Four candles decorate the outer edges of the wreath, and one white candle sits in the middle. The church will light one of the candles each week, and on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, will light the candles in the center.
These candles remind us of the attributes of God we use during our anticipation of Christ’s coming: his first coming for Christmas and his long-awaited second coming.
As a summary, these were the past few candles of Advent:
In the final week of Advent, churches will light two candles. We’ll discuss the fourth and fifth Advent candles in this article: the candle of love and the Christ candle.
What Is the Candle of Love?
Before we dive into this, we should keep in mind, some church traditions vary on which candle goes on which Sunday. Some may light the “love candle” on the second Sunday of Advent instead of the fourth. Others have lit the candle of Peace on the fourth week of Advent instead of the candle of love.
Or, as stated in this article, some churches will light a candle of faith on the second Sunday instead of a candle of peace.
No matter what the church tradition, we can assuredly know that virtues such as love, hope, peace, joy, and faith are important in the Christmas story as well as in our daily walk with Christ. Whichever we celebrate on whatever Sunday of Advent, we know all of them are important hallmarks of the Christian faith and journey.
With that being said, let’s dive into the symbolism of the love candle. Otherwise known as the Angel candle, this candle can represent purity.
We see the other candles representing a part of the Christmas story in addition to virtues.
Week One – The prophecies about the coming Messiah
Week Two – Bethlehem, Jesus’ birthplace
Week Three – The shepherds who came to see Jesus
Week Four – The angels who proclaimed the good news of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds
Love, as stated in this article, plays a vital role in the Christmas story. Because of Joseph’s love for Mary, he didn’t stone her when he found out she was pregnant with what he thought was a child out of wedlock with another man (Matthew 1:18-19). Mary has a natural motherly love for Jesus, and ultimately, we see God’s love for everyone by sending his son for us (John 3:16).
Jesus focused on preaching love throughout his ministry. Two of his greatest commands involve love: Love God, love your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40).
Love is the greatest of all the virtues on the Advent wreath and encompasses Jesus’ entire purpose for being on earth (1 Corinthians 13:13).