Understanding the Symbolism: Exploring Advent Candle Meanings

Advent is a time of anticipation and preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. Many Christian denominations celebrate this season by lighting Advent candles on each Sunday leading up to Christmas. These candles hold deep symbolic meanings that help believers reflect on the significance of Christ’s coming. In this article, we will delve into the advent candle meanings, exploring their symbolism and significance.

The First Candle: Hope

The first candle lit during Advent represents hope. It is often a purple candle, signifying the expectation and longing for the arrival of Jesus as the promised Messiah. This candle reminds believers that even in times of darkness and despair, there is always hope in God’s promises.

Symbolically, this candle also represents the hope that Jesus brings into our lives. Just as light dispels darkness, Christ’s coming brings hope into a broken world. It serves as a reminder to remain steadfast in faith and trust in God’s plan.

The Second Candle: Peace

The second Advent candle symbolizes peace. Also known as the Bethlehem candle, it is usually purple like the first one but can sometimes be blue depending on tradition or denomination. This candle reminds believers of the peace that Christ brings into their lives and their responsibility to be peacemakers in their communities.

Peace can mean different things to different people, but ultimately it refers to harmony with God and reconciliation with one another. This candle encourages individuals to seek inner peace through prayer and reflection while also promoting peace among others through acts of kindness, forgiveness, and understanding.

The Third Candle: Joy

The third Advent candle represents joy and is often referred to as the Shepherd’s or Gaudete (Latin for “rejoice”) candle. It stands out from the other candles by being pink or rose-colored instead of purple or blue.

This joyful color reflects anticipation for Christmas Day drawing nearer and signifies an invitation to rejoice in the coming of Christ. Joy is not merely a fleeting emotion but a deep sense of gratitude and contentment that comes from knowing and experiencing God’s love.

This candle serves as a reminder to find joy in the midst of life’s challenges, trusting that God’s promises will be fulfilled. It encourages believers to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, focusing on the blessings they have received rather than dwelling on their circumstances.

The Fourth Candle: Love

The fourth and final Advent candle represents love. It is often purple like the first two candles, though some traditions use a white candle instead. This candle reminds believers of God’s unconditional love for humanity and the ultimate act of love demonstrated through Jesus’ birth.

Love is central to the Christian faith, encompassing compassion, forgiveness, and selflessness. This candle encourages individuals to reflect on how they can demonstrate love towards others in their daily lives, mirroring God’s love for them.


The symbolism behind Advent candles adds depth and meaning to this season of anticipation. Each candle represents a different aspect of faith – hope, peace, joy, and love – reminding believers of God’s promises and encouraging them to live out these virtues in their lives.

As we light each Advent candle during this season, may we be reminded of our call to hope in times of darkness, seek peace amidst turmoil, embrace joy even in difficult circumstances, and extend love towards all.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.