Lighting the third candle of the Advent Wreath
The Advent Wreath has five candles: three are purple and one is rose (pink): these are lit on the four Sundays in Advent. The centre candle is white and is lit at Christmas.
Two purple candles have already been lit, one on the first Sunday of Advent and the other on the second Sunday. These two candles represent hope and peace. They are re-lit this week, and the rose candle is lit for the first time.
The third candle is traditionally the candle of Joy. It marks a shift from the more solemn tone of the first two Sundays of Advent, that focus on preparation and hope, to a more joyous atmosphere of anticipation and expectancy.
In the Gospel according to Luke, Mary is told by her cousin Elizabeth (Lk1:44):
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Lighting the third candle
Leader: Light and peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord All: Thanks be to God
Leader: On the third Sunday of Advent we light the rose candle - symbol of Joy.
Light the third candle (rose)
Leader: Joy is like a light shining in a dark place. As we look at this candle we celebrate the joy we find in Jesus Christ.
The Third Candle We share joy - because the Holy Spirit fills our hearts and minds with the presence of God.
Leader: Lord, you come as a tiny, fragile baby; yet we know that you are God and you are with us. May the flame of this candle remind us that you are the light of the world and that if we follow you, we will never walk in darkness, but will have the true light of life.