Today is Advent Sunday. It is the Sunday of Hope… the Hope of the coming of Jesus at his birth and the Hope of his second coming.
It is the kickoff of Advent which includes the four Sundays leading to Christmas Day.
As a Catholic I learned the four candles around the wreath were lit progressively, one each Sunday.
On the First Sunday (Advent Sunday), the focus is looking forward to the Second Coming of Christ. HOPE!
On the Second Sunday, the focus is on the preaching of John the Baptist, who came to “prepare the way of the Lord”. PEACE!
On the Third Sunday, focus is again about John the Baptist and his life (He is Jesus’ cousin you know). FAITH!
On the Fourth Sunday, the Gospel reading is about the events involving Mary and Joseph that led directly to the birth of Jesus. JOY!
The candle in the middle represents the incarnation, the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve.