It was a Jewish tradition to get together as a family before dinner, light a candle, recite prayers and sing hymns on the day before the Sabbath.
In these days of COVID -19 restrictions when we await the Lords coming in Advent, all families in our Parish are invited to light a candle and join together in prayer and hymns on all Saturdays in Advent.
A Christmas Wreath as shown in the picture with five candles (three in purple, one each in pink and white) is suggested to be prepared in each family. The purple and the pink candles surround the white candle which is placed at the centre.
The candles have their own special significance. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent, and one candle is lit each Saturday before dinner. Three of the candles are purple because the colour violet is a liturgical colour that signifies a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice.
The first candle, which is purple, symbolises Hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
The second candle, also purple, represents Faith. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
The third candle is pink and symbolises Joy. It is called the “Shepard’s Candle,” and is pink because rose is a liturgical colour for joy. The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday and is meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that the faithful have reached the midpoint of Advent.
On the fourth week of Advent, we light the final purple candle to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait for the birth of our Saviour. This final candle, the “Angel’s Candle,” symbolises Peace. It reminds us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”
The white candle represents Christ and is lit on the Christmas Day.
The Parish Team will be joining all parishioners by lighting the candle and praying the prayers and singing hymns on every Saturday in Advent. The Christmas Wreath shown in the picture is designed and put together by Brother Christopher who is studying theology at the seminary and is in residence at the Parish, due to the Covid restrictions.
In case you are not able to put together a wreath with the colour candles in your family, you can light a candle and pray the prayers and sing hymns before dinner as a family on all Saturdays in Advent.
Attached above are the picture of the Christmas Wreath put together by Brother Christopher, prayers to be said when the candle is lit on each Saturday of Advent and Advent hymns.
Wish you all a Happy and Blessed Advent.
Fr. Francis Carvalho Parish Priest