Advent Candles

For the first time in my Christian experience I'm in a church which lights advent candles. I must confess that I had heard of this tradition but thought it was something that real Bible-believing churches didn’t or shouldn’t do. It was too, well, Catholic or something. Most churches who observed Advent in this way didn’t preach the gospel, or so I thought. Of the five candles three are purple, one is pink – symbolizing hope, preparation, joy, love – and the large white center candle lighted last representing Christ the Light of the World. You will find different meanings attached to the candles and colors in different churches. For us, the lighting of a candle each week, with the previous candles remaining lit during the service, accompanied by the reading of a selection of Scriptures by families or couples, provides a fitting and powerful Christ-centered emphasis in which the gospel is preached. It may not be easy for established churches to introduce this practice. For new churches it's something to consider.

3 Responses to “Advent Candles”

  1. Why use symbolism not provided by our Lord when we have the two symbols that He did prescribe:  Baptism and Communion?  What is the Scriptural basis for the symbolic candles?

  2. Good question. Of course that could be asked about almost any church-related symbols that are not rooted in a specific command. Why would churches have a cross-shaped pulpit, stained-glass windows, steeples, lilies in the sanctuary on Easter or poinsettias around Christmas, white baptismal robes, etc? Because they communicate something visually about the gospel. As such churches are free to use these symbols or not. They are in no way on the level of gospel ordinances.

  3. Jesus used symbols, word pictures and parables all the time to communicate his teachings/truths about salvation and Kingdom all the time.
    Steve is in no way trying to equate physical symbols that can be used to communicate the Gospel with church ordinances.  Nor was he insuating that the symbols they use, in this case candles to replace those two ordinances.
    I think the use of candles is an awesome picturefor what they are trying to communicate!  In our context, it wouldn't be as effective and would probably be more confusing and detrimental, so we wouldn't use them.

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