Candles and Traditions

by Dorothy Hettmann

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

As the Advent Season arrives, we reflect on how we can prepare our hearts for our Lord’s birth. We have some beautiful traditions at our church that help us to prepare for the Christ-child and to remind us that Jesus is the Light of the World.

One tradition that we use in our Advent and Christmas church services, and many of us use in our homes, is the Advent wreath.

The history of the advent wreath started in the late 1800’s from a German Pastor who built a wreath from an old cartwheel to help the children at his mission school count the days until Christmas. He added candles to the wreath that were lit every day during advent.

The concept of the Advent wreath came to the US in the late 1920’s as a devotional practice used to mark the four weeks of Advent. Today our practice is to put four candles on the wreath, one for each week preceding our Lord’s birth, and a large white candle in the middle of the wreath.

The four candles are lit on Sundays in Advent, representing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. The larger white candle lit on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, represents Jesus and reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the World.

We also have a meaningful tradition at our church to go outside after the Christmas Eve church service and light candles. We hold our lit candles high and sing out loud to celebrate our Lord’s birth! What a joyous and glorious way to welcome our Lord!

My friends, when we see a candle this Advent Season, may it remind us that Jesus is the Light of the World and brings us great Hope, Peace, and Joy and remind us that we are Loved!

Looking for previous entries?

Find our ’22 Advent devotional archive online.

computer screen and phone screen with advent candle wreath and info about our 22 devotion