It’s that time of year again, folks – Advent season! For those of you who may not know, Advent is a four-week period leading up to Christmas that is observed by Christians around the world. During this time, we light candles on an Advent wreath to symbolize the coming of Christ – but what do each of these candles represent? Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the third candle of Advent and explore its significance.
The third candle is often referred to as the “Joy” or “Shepherd’s candle.” It’s typically a rose-colored candle, which stands out from the rest of the purple candles on the wreath. But why is this? This candle represents a shift in tone from the previous two weeks of Advent, which focus on themes of hope and peace. The third week of Advent marks the halfway point, and so it makes sense to take a moment to celebrate and find joy in the anticipation of Christ’s arrival.
So, what does this joy symbolize exactly? For many Christians, it represents the joy that the shepherds experienced upon hearing the news of Christ’s birth. They were among the first to receive the good tidings from the angels and rushed to see the newborn Messiah in person. This candle reminds us that despite the challenges and difficulties we may face in our lives, there is still cause for celebration and rejoicing – because Jesus is coming!
The Advent Wreath
The Advent wreath is a circular decoration made of evergreen branches and adorned with four candles, typically purple or blue in color. It symbolizes the anticipation and waiting for the coming of Christmas, as well as the eternal love and faithfulness of God.
The wreath is believed to have originated in Germany in the 16th century, where the custom of lighting candles during December was already common. The circular shape of the wreath represents the unending love of God and the evergreen branches symbolize the hope of eternal life in Christ.
- The four candles of the Advent wreath symbolize the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas. The first candle, which is usually purple, represents hope. It is sometimes referred to as the “Prophecy Candle” or the “Candle of Hope,” reminding us of the prophecies in the Old Testament and the hope that they bring for the coming of the Messiah.
- The second candle, also purple, represents peace. It is often called the “Bethlehem Candle” or the “Candle of Preparation,” signifying the preparations that were made in anticipation of Christ’s birth and the peace that He brings to the world.
- The third candle, which is pink or rose in color, represents joy. It is known as the “Shepherd Candle” or the “Gaudete Candle,” deriving its name from the Latin word “gaudete,” meaning “rejoice.” With the third candle lit, we are halfway through the Advent season and reminded of the joy that will come with the birth of our Lord.
- The fourth candle, also purple, represents love. It is often referred to as the “Angel Candle” or the “Candle of Love,” signifying the love that God has for humanity and the love that we are called to share with others.
On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, a fifth candle, white in color, is sometimes placed in the center of the wreath. This “Christ Candle” represents the birth of Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
The lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath is a cherished tradition in many Christian homes and churches. Each week, a candle is lit to mark the progression of the season and to reflect on the hope, peace, joy, and love that Christ brings to the world.
History of Advent
Advent is a season of the Christian church that lasts four weeks leading up to Christmas Day. It is a time of preparation, repentance, and reflection before the celebration of the birth of Christ.
- The word “advent” derives from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning “coming” or “arrival.”
- The season of Advent was first observed in the 4th century as a period of fasting and penitence in preparation for Christmas.
- In medieval times, Advent was also seen as a time of anticipation for the Second Coming of Christ.
Today, many churches celebrate Advent by lighting candles on an Advent wreath. The wreath is made of evergreens, symbolizing eternal life, and four candles are placed on the wreath, one for each Sunday of Advent. The candles are lit in sequence, with an additional candle being lit on Christmas Day.
Each candle has its own symbolic meaning. The first candle, called the “prophecy candle,” represents hope. The second candle, called the “Bethlehem candle,” represents faith. The third candle, called the “Shepherd candle,” represents joy. Finally, the fourth candle, called the “Angel candle,” represents peace. The center candle, which is typically white, represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Day.
|The promise of the Messiah
|The preparation for the Messiah
|The joy at the coming of the Messiah
|The love that the Messiah brings
As we light the third candle of Advent and reflect on the joy that the world felt when Jesus was born, may we also experience true joy in our hearts as we await His second coming and the ultimate fulfillment of His promises.
The Color of the Third Candle
The third candle of Advent is traditionally pink or rose-colored. This color holds significant meaning within the Advent season, representing moments of joy and celebration amidst the waiting and preparation.
- The pink candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, which is also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete comes from the Latin word meaning “rejoice.” This day serves as a reminder to Christians to rejoice in the coming of Christ and the hope that He brings.
- The color pink or rose also symbolizes the coming dawn of a new day. Just as the sun rises, bringing light and warmth, the appearance of the pink candle reminds us that the darkness of winter will soon be gone and the light of Christ will break forth.
- In liturgical tradition, the pink candle can represent Mary, the mother of Jesus. She played a significant role in the Advent story as the bearer of Christ and a symbol of hope and joy. The pink candle honors Mary’s faithful obedience and her trust in God’s plan.
The color of the third candle is a visual representation of the message of Advent. It tells us to take heart, to hold onto hope, and to remember that the birth of Christ signals a new day filled with joy and light.
Incorporating the pink candle into our Advent celebrations is a way to connect with the deeper meaning of the season. By pausing to meditate on its symbolism, we are reminded of the hope, joy, and love that surrounds us, even in the darkest of times.
As we light the third candle, we are called to rejoice and look forward to the coming of Christ. Let us embrace the pink color and the warmth and joy it brings to our hearts.
|Joy, celebration, new dawn, Mary
The pink color of the third Advent candle reminds us to embrace the hope and joy of the season, holding onto the promise of a new day and the birth of Christ.
The connection between the Third Candle and John the Baptist
As we light the third candle of Advent, we are reminded of the important role of John the Baptist in preparing the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was a prominent figure in the Gospels and is often depicted as the voice in the wilderness, calling out for repentance and proclaiming the coming of the Messiah. His message was one of hope and salvation, and his life serves as an inspiration for all those who seek to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
- John the Baptist as the Forerunner
- The Baptism of Jesus
- John’s Martyrdom
The third candle of Advent is often called the “Shepherd’s Candle”, symbolizing the joy that accompanied the announcement of Christ’s birth to the shepherds in the fields. The shepherd’s role was significant in Jewish society, as they were responsible for the protection and care of the flocks. In a similar way, John the Baptist served as a spiritual shepherd, pointing people towards the coming of Christ and encouraging them to turn away from sin.
John’s message of repentance and the call to turn away from sin is just as relevant today as it was in his time. In a world that often celebrates materialism and self-gratification, the message of Advent reminds us to focus on the things that truly matter and to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ.
|Rose/Pink – A lighter shade of purple, symbolizing joy and rejoicing
|Candle in the shape of a shepherd’s crook
|Rose – Representing the scent of the rose that blossoms in wintertime, as a sign of joy and hope
The lighting of the third candle of Advent is a reminder of the hope and joy that accompanies the coming of Christ. It is a time to reflect on the message of John the Baptist and the call to repentance, as we prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ. Let us take inspiration from John’s life and strive to be spiritual shepherds, guiding others towards the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
The Symbolism of the Third Candle as Joy
As we approach the third week of Advent, we light the third candle on our Advent wreath. This candle is often referred to as the “Joy Candle”, as it symbolizes the joy that the coming of Jesus brings into our lives.
The number three is significant in many ways, including in the Holy Trinity, where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all one. The Third Candle reminds us of the third aspect of the Holy Trinity which is the Holy Spirit that brings joy and comfort to believers.
- The Third Candle reminds us that the birth of Jesus brings hope and happiness to all. John 16:22 says, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
- Just as the third candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, joy should be present throughout the week and not just on Sundays.
- The joy that we experience through the Christmas season should not be limited to receiving gifts or spending time with family but should also come from reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.
Through the Advent season, we should always remember that no matter what we go through in our lives, there is always hope and joy at the end of the tunnel. The Third Candle represents the joy that is brought to those who believe in the coming of Jesus Christ. It reminds us that genuine joy can only be found in the love of God and the peace that comes with it.
During the third week of Advent, while lighting the third candle, take a moment to reflect on the joy that the coming of Christ has brought into your life. May we all find the true joy that comes with believing in Christ and the peace that surpasses all human understanding.
|Symbolism of the Third Candle
|The third candle is usually pink or rose-colored, which represents joy, celebration, and happiness
|Position on the Wreath
|The Third Candle, also known as the “Shepherd’s Candle,” is located closer to the Christ candle- symbolizing the Shepherds’ story and their joy in witnessing Jesus’ birth
|Symbolizes the Holy Trinity and signifies the third aspect, the Holy Spirit, bringing joy into the hearts of believers
The Third Candle of Advent reminds us of the joy that comes with believing in Christ. May this season bring us all, a renewed sense of hope, peace, and joy.
Celebrating the Third Sunday of Advent in different cultures and traditions
The third candle of advent is also known as the Gaudete Sunday or Joyful Sunday. It symbolizes the halfway point of the Advent season and is a reminder to Christians to rejoice in anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ. Different cultures and traditions celebrate this day in unique ways, focusing on spreading joy and happiness during this festive season.
- In Latin America, the third Sunday of Advent is celebrated as La Feria de la Alegría, which means “The Festival of Joy”. People light candles and decorate their homes with bright colors and traditional Christmas decorations. Music and dancing are also an important part of the festivities.
- In Sweden, the third Sunday of Advent is celebrated as St. Lucia’s Day. Young girls dress up in white gowns, holding candles and singing traditional songs. This day also marks the beginning of Christmas celebrations in Sweden.
- In the Philippines, the third Sunday of Advent is celebrated as Gaudete Sunday. People attend early morning masses, and many families prepare a special breakfast of bibingka (rice cake) and hot chocolate. Children dress up in colorful costumes and perform traditional dances to spread joy and happiness.
The Symbolism of the Number 7
The number 7 has significant symbolism in many cultures and religions, including Christianity. In the Bible, the number 7 is used to symbolize perfection or completeness, as God rested on the seventh day after creating the world.
There are many examples of the number 7 in the Bible, such as the seven seals and seven trumpets in the Book of Revelation, the seven days of creation, and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Advent season traditionally includes seven different themes or virtues, such as hope, peace, joy, love, and patience.
The number 7 is also significant in other cultures and religions. For example, in Hinduism, there are seven chakras, or energy centers, in the body, and in ancient Egypt, there were seven fundamental principles that governed the universe.
Traditions and Symbols of Gaudete Sunday
Gaudete Sunday is a day of celebration and joy, marked by the lighting of the third candle on the advent wreath. The color of the candle and vestments worn by priests on this day is rose, symbolizing the joy and anticipation of Christmas.
|Represents the joy and hope of the Advent season
|Symbolizes the joy and anticipation of Christmas
|Represents the four weeks of Advent and the light of Christ
On Gaudete Sunday, many churches also use rose-colored decorations and flowers, such as roses and carnations, to further symbolize the joy and hope of the season. People may also exchange gifts, sing festive songs, and gather with friends and family to celebrate the halfway point of the Advent season.
The Role of the Third Candle in the Nativity Story
The third candle of Advent is known as the joy candle or Gaudete Sunday. It is usually represented as a pink or rose-colored candle and is lit on the third Sunday of Advent. The candle represents the joy that was felt by the shepherds when they received the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ.
- The third candle marks the halfway point of the Advent season. It is a reminder to Christians that Christmas is only a few weeks away.
- In the Nativity story, the third candle symbolizes the joy that the shepherds experienced upon receiving the news of Jesus’ birth from the angels. It is a sign of hope and happiness in the midst of the darkness of the winter season.
- The joy candle also represents the anticipation of the joy that will be felt when Jesus returns again.
The third candle is often accompanied by readings or prayers that focus on the joy of the Christmas season. It is a time to reflect on the love and light that Jesus brings into the world and to share that love with others. The candle serves as a reminder to Christians of the importance of spreading joy and love during the holiday season.
The third candle of Advent is an important symbol in the Nativity story, representing the joy that was felt by the shepherds upon receiving the news of Jesus’ birth. It is a reminder to Christians of the hope and happiness that come with the Christmas season and the anticipation of Jesus’ return.
|Symbolism of the Third Candle
|Joy and anticipation of Christmas
|Representation of the common people who were the first to receive the good news of Jesus’ birth
|The happiness and hope felt during the Christmas season and the anticipation of Jesus’ return
Overall, the third candle of Advent plays an important role in the Nativity story and serves as a reminder of the joy and love that come with the holiday season.
The significance of lighting the Third Candle in church services
Advent is a time of preparation and reflection for Christians as they await the arrival of the birth of Jesus Christ. The third candle of Advent, also known as the Gaudete candle, represents joy and is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday. Here, we will dive deeper into the symbolism and significance of lighting the third candle in church services.
The number 9
Each candle lit during Advent has symbolism attached to them, which tells the story of the arrival of the savior. The number nine is an important symbol associated with the third candle and represents a multitude of spiritual concepts. Here are a few of the symbolisms attached to the number nine:
- In the Bible, the number nine symbolizes divine completeness and is associated with the fruits of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
- In the Hebrew language, nine is represented by the word “Tet” which means “goodness” or “the goodness of fruit.”
- Additionally, nine is the highest single-digit number, indicating spiritual achievement and perfection.
The Rose Candle
The third candle is also known as the Rose Candle, which represents the joy of the arrival of the savior of the world. The color rose symbolizes hope and anticipation, and usually, the advent wreath is decorated with pink or rose-colored flowers on this day. The Rose Candle signifies the halfway point of Advent, reminding us that the coming of the Lord is near, and we should rejoice in anticipation.
Lighting the Third Candle in church services
During church services, the third candle is lit after the first and second candle representing hope and peace, respectively. Liturgy and readings are centered around the theme of joy, reminding believers that the birth of Jesus Christ brings them a sense of happiness and enthusiasm. The third candle’s lighting is a visual reminder of the joy that is associated with this season, encouraging believers to rejoice and lift up their spirits as they prepare for the coming of the Savior.
|Hope and expectation
|Peace and tranquility
|Third Candle (Gaudete Candle)
|Pink or rose
|Joy and happiness
|Love and light
The symbolism behind each of the candles is essential to the celebration of Advent. While some may just view the lighting of the candles as a simple tradition, it holds a significant spiritual meaning for the individuals who participate in it.
The Importance of the Third Candle in the Context of the Whole Advent Season
Advent is the period of four weeks leading up to Christmas Day and is a time of preparation, anticipation, and waiting. During this time, the use of the Advent wreath and lighting of candles has become an important part of the Christian celebration, with each candle representing different aspects of the season.
- The first candle symbolizes hope.
- The second candle symbolizes peace.
- The third candle symbolizes joy.
- The fourth candle symbolizes love.
Each candle is lit on the corresponding Sunday of Advent, with the third candle being lit on the third Sunday, also known as Gaudete Sunday. This Latin word means ‘rejoice’ and is taken from the opening antiphon of the Mass celebrated on this Sunday: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice’ (Philippians 4:4).
Gaudete Sunday serves as a reminder that Christmas is approaching and is a time to feel joy and happiness as the celebration draws nearer.
But why is joy an important aspect of Advent? It is because joy is a reflection of the inner happiness that comes from knowing that Christ is coming. It is a feeling of hope and anticipation, accompanied by a sense of peace and love. Joy is the realization that God is good and that the world is a better place because of the gift of his Son.
|Symbolism of the Third Candle of Advent
|The color rose
|A symbol of joy and happiness, a deviation from the purple or blue candles lit on the other Sundays of Advent
|The rose candle being lit on Gaudete Sunday
|A reminder to rejoice in the Lord because Christmas is near
|The shepherd’s candle
|Symbolizes the joy the shepherds felt when they received the news of Christ’s birth from the angel
The Third Candle of Advent represents a time of great joy as the anticipation of Christmas draws nearer. It serves as a reminder to keep our hearts and minds focused on the true meaning of the season, and to experience the joy that comes from knowing that Christ is coming.
What Does the Third Candle of Advent Symbolize?
1. What is Advent?
Advent is a season of the Christian church that celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ and prepares for Christmas.
2. What are Advent candles?
Advent candles are four candles that are lit on four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Each candle symbolizes something different.
3. What do the first two Advent candles symbolize?
The first Advent candle represents hope, and the second represents faith.
4. What does the third Advent candle symbolize?
The third Advent candle represents joy. It is sometimes called the “shepherd’s candle” because the shepherds were filled with joy when they heard of Jesus’ birth.
5. What color is the third Advent candle?
The third Advent candle is typically pink or rose-colored.
6. When is the third Advent candle lit?
The third Advent candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, which is also known as Gaudete Sunday.
7. What is the significance of the third Advent candle?
The third Advent candle reminds us to rejoice in the coming of Jesus Christ. It is a time to celebrate and be thankful for the gift of God’s love.
Thanks for Reading!
We hope this article has helped you understand the significance of the third candle of Advent. Remember to take some time during the Advent season to reflect on the meaning of each candle. And don’t forget to visit us again for more informative articles!