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Old 01-06-2005, 10:03 PM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,735
Lighting an Advent Wreath.

Needless to say, we won't being seeing Advent again for some time. But I have wondered something for the longest time now: What exactly is the proper way to light an Advent wreath? I know from childhood that the rose colored candle (symbolizing hope) is lit second to last. And that is really all I know for sure. I don't know how you display the wreath, I don't know if you light it clockwise or counterclockwise, etc.

I tried googling this question during the Christmas season. But it seemed every site I was led to ironically just assumed the reader already knew how to light an Advent wreath. (BTW, if you have a link to give that tells how to do, feel free to include it in your answer.)

Thank you in advance to all who reply .
"Love takes no less than everything." (from "Love Is", a duet by Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight)
Old 01-06-2005, 10:15 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 11,386
I've always seen the candles lit successively on the four Sundays of Advent.

Usually three of the candles are purple and one is rose. The rose-coloured candle is lit on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday (from the Latin word, gaudete, meaning rejoice, which is the first word of the Introit in the traditional Latin mass for the day).

Generally in Catholic churches there is some form of form of prayers and responses while the candles are lit. At home, you could pretty much do anything that you wanted, I suppose e.g. read some scripture, say the rosary.

I don't think it matters particularly whether you light the candles clockwise or counter-clockwise.
Old 01-06-2005, 10:25 PM
MaceMan MaceMan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 479
I found this link, which may be of interest. here is a short excerpt:
929 Customarily the Advent Wreath is constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which are inserted four candles. According to tradition, three of the candles are violet and the fourth is rose. However, four violet or white candles may also be used.

930 The candles represent the four weeks of Advent and the number of candles lighted each week corresponds to the number of the current week of Advent. The rose candle is lighted on the Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday.


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