Tena koutou katoa. Nga mihi nui atawhai.
In this last week of the school year, we conclude our final celebrations and look forward to the coming holiday break. For us as Catholics, it is also the beginning of the season of Advent. Advent comes from the Latin word ‘adventus’ which means ‘arrival’. It is a time of waiting and preparing for the arrival of Christmas, the arrival of Jesus Christ, the son of God.
An Advent wreath is a circle of evergreen branches to symbolise eternal life. There are four candles around the wreath, one for each of the four Sundays of Advent. The four traditional Advent themes are:
- The candle of Hope, to celebrate the light of hope that we have in Jesus Christ.
- The candle of Peace, to celebrate the light of peace that we have in Jesus Christ.
- The candle of Love, to celebrate the light of love that we have in Jesus Christ.
- The candle of Joy, to celebrate the light of joy that we have in Jesus Christ.
The fifth, cental candle represents the birth of Christ, the true light of life.
“I found over the years that different groups have different meanings for the candles, but the main idea behind the candles is to designate the four weeks, the progression, sense of expectation, anticipation and increase of light,” said the Rev. Tommy Davidson of Riverside Baptist Church in Newport News. “We believe Jesus is the light of the world, and he brings light into this world, so as you go through the four Sundays, you increase the light in the world as the anticipation grows.”
Wishing all of you a joyous and blessed Christmas season and summer break.