This year the advent season begins on Sunday 1 December. Advent is a time of repentance and preparation to celebrate the birth of Christ. Liturgically, the colours associated with Advent are purple (penance) and pink (joy). One of the most familiar images is the Advent Wreath and its candles.
The wreath symbolises the light of Christ coming into the world, increasing in brightness each week until Christmas itself. The first two purple candles represent Hope that the Lord is coming and the Faith expressed in the journey to Bethlehem. The pink candle of the third week is Gaudete Sunday – expressing joy at the imminent arrival of Jesus. The final candle symbolises Peace and the final white candle, representing the purity of Christ is lit on Christmas itself.