Do not be afraid. Look! Your God is coming. He is coming to save you (Isaiah 35:4)

For 4 weeks before Christmas the Liturgy of the Church recalls the coming of Jesus our Saviour and asks us

to prepare for his coming with prayer and penance. During Advent we share the longing of the Israelites,

God’s chosen people, for the coming of the Saviour. Advent reminds us of three different ‘comings’ of

Jesus. The first is in the past. It happened long ago at the 1 st Christmas, Jesus, God’s Son, who made our

world, came to live in it as a baby, then as a boy and a man who gave his life to bring us closer to God. The

2 nd ‘coming’ belongs in the present because Jesus is waiting to come now to every person who invites him

into their heart and life. The 3 rd ‘coming’ of Jesus is still in the future. One day Jesus will come back to our

world, not as a little helpless baby, but as King and Judge of all.

So Advent is the season of getting ready – ready to understand the true meaning of Christmas, ready to ask

Jesus into our lives and ready for the day when he will come again. The advent wreath is a symbolic

reminder of the themes of Advent.

 The Circle is a symbol of the Infinity of God. We pray that we will remember that our God is always

with us.

 The Evergreens are a symbol of Hope. We pray that our faith will always be a source of Hope even

at the most difficult times in our lives.

 The Purple candles are a symbol of Prayer and Penance. We pray that we will prepare for the

coming of our Saviour and happiness for all who celebrate it.

 The Red candle is a symbol of Joy. We pray that the joyful remembrance of the birth of Jesus will

be a source of peace and happiness for all who celebrate it.

 The White candle reminds us that when Jesus came he brought the Light of God’s love, truth and

forgiveness into our dark world. We pray that we may continue to bring the light of Jesus into the

lives of people and that Jesus will bring his peace into all hearts.