Explanation of the Advent Wreath

This is from the sisters of Browerville's catechism course.

"Most of you have already seen an Advent wreath and maybe even have one in your homes. Look at the picture on the other side of the paper.

"An Advent wreath is made of evergreens, that is, branches which are green all year round. This makes us think of God who never changes, Who is ever the same. He always was and always will be. These evergreens are placed in the shape of a circle as a symbol of eternity, and of God who never had a beginning and who will never have an end.

"The wreath has four candles for the four weeks of Advent. These symbolize the four thousand years that the world had to wait after the sin of Adam until the coming of the Savior. Each week, therefore, represents one thousand years.

"Three of the candles in the wreath are purple. These match the purple vestments on the first, second, and fourth Sundays of Advent. Purple is the color for penance. It reminds us that we must be sorry for our sins and that we badly need Our Lord to come and save us.
One of the candles is rose to match the vestments of the third Sunday of Advent. Rose is the color for hopeful joy. The rose candle tells us that we must rejoice because God's promise to send a Savior is almost fulfilled.

"The Advent wreath makes us think of the world before Our Lord's coming. After original sin, men's souls were in darkness and they could not go to heaven. As we get closer to Christmas, we see more light because each week of Advent another candle is lit. When the candles are lit, they make us think of Christ who is a "light shining in the darkness," the "Light of the world" whose birthday we will soon celebrate on Christmas day. They help us remember God's infinite love for each one of us.

"Advent means coming. We are going to use this Advent wreath to prepare ourselves for the coming of someone who wants very much to be the guest of our souls. You know who this is - it is Our Lord Jesu Christ. Like the candles on the wreath, our hearts mus glow and burn with the desire for Jesus' coming to us."