What Do the Advent Candles Represent?
December 5, 2023, 4:00 PM

The first candle, which is purple, symbolizes hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in 
remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the 
expectation felt in anticipation of the coming 

The second candle, also purple, represents faith. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of 
Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.

The third candle is pink and symbolizes joy. It is 
called the “Shepard’s Candle,” and is pink because 
rose is a liturgical color for joy. 

The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday and is meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that the faithful have reached the midpoint of Advent.

On the fourth week of Advent, we light the final 
purple candle to mark the final week of prayer and 
penance as we wait for the birth of our Savior. This 
final candle, the “Angel’s Candle,” symbolizes 
peace. It reminds us of the message of the angels: 
“Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”

The white candle is placed in the middle of the 
wreath and lit on Christmas Eve. This candle is called the “Christ Candle” and represents the life of Christ. 
The color white is for purity—because Christ is our sinless, pure Savior.