Each dark December we center the old Advent wreath on the dining room table, pressing fresh candles into their holders and sprucing the base with evergreen. It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness, we’re reminded.
Our hearts are heavy but their burden is light. The wreath’s first candle, all violet with penance and preparation, anticipates a Coming. The vigil has begun.
A week later we light the second violet taper. Another week and we add the rosy third. Joy tinges the horizon and with three candles glowing, the wreath has become a luminous crescendo of hope.
Then the fourth and final candle is lit. It is violet again, but with the circle complete, the blaze is brilliant and our hearts are all on tiptoe.
Christ comes “to give light to those who walk in darkness.”
He illumines the pathway of peace.
Related post: Advent Begins with a Flame.