I was asked today about why there’s a pink candle in the advent wreath in our church. I know it symbolizes joy, but why pink? I went on a mission to answer the question this lady asked. Here’s what I found and where I found it for anyone interested:
- “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.” https://www.mercyhome.org/blog/sunday-mass/advent-wreath/#.XeVBPVdKhPY
- “On Gaudete Sunday rose-coloured vestments may be worn instead of violet (or instead of deep blue, in some Anglican and Lutheran traditions), which is otherwise prescribed for every day in the season of Advent. Gaudete Sunday was also known as “Rose Sunday”. In churches that have an Advent wreath, the rose coloured candle is lit in addition to two of the violet (or blue) coloured candles, which represent the first two Sundays of Advent. Despite the otherwise somber readings of the season of Advent, which has as a secondary theme the need for penitence, the readings on the third Sunday emphasize the joyous anticipation of the Lord’s coming.” (Wikipedia)
- “The color traditionally chosen for paraments and vestments in the church during Lent and Advent was a deep purple, signifying royalty, repentance, and suffering. These colors set a quite somber and melancholy tone. Still, in the midst of such solemnity, the church recognized that Christians are never a people without joy. When true repentance occurs, joyful obedience is the result; thus, there is joy to be celebrated even in the most penitential times. Moreover, joy is not only a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in an individual’s life but also a characteristic common in God’s Kingdom. As the liturgical calendar developed, one Sunday was set aside in each season – the fourth Sunday in Lent and the third Sunday in Advent – to focus on joy. The color pink (or more accurately, rose) was chosen as a reminder on these Sundays that even in the midst of longing, penitence, and fasting, the church never ceases to rejoice.” https://www.seedbed.com/pink-candle-advent-wreath/
So we light pink because we are given such great joy in the midst of our purple candles that symbolize fasting, waiting and repentance. Joy because one Christmas Eve we light the white Christ candle, the one who fulfills us like nothing else, the perfect, spotless and blameless one. Christ is white, clean and pure as snow. Embark on a spiritual adventure of lighting the advent candles this year as expectation builds towards Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, the One who can gives everlasting joy! Let’s celebrate the rose, pink joy candle.