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#1
Dec 10, '12, 1:00 pm
 StJudePray4Me Regular Member Join Date: July 14, 2009 Posts: 949 Religion: Roman Catholic
How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

My child, who goes to Catholic school, came home with a quiz about Advent and Hanukkah traditions. One question was, How many candles are on an Advent Wreath? My child answered 4, and it was marked incorrect, with 5 being the corrected answer. My child said the teacher explained there are 5....

What am I missing here? I have never seen an Advent wreath that had more than 4 candles on it... am I going crazy?
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#2
Dec 10, '12, 1:21 pm
 Razanir Regular Member Join Date: September 16, 2012 Posts: 2,083 Religion: Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

Bad question. As I understand it, an Advent wreath has 3 purple candles (presumably colored for Advent), one pink candle (I think it's for joy) and optionally a white candle (lit on Christmas). 4 or 5 candles.

It'd be like a math question that said x²=1: A) x=-1 B) x=0 C) x=1
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#3
Dec 10, '12, 2:14 pm
 Allegra Veteran Member Join Date: July 11, 2011 Posts: 10,136 Religion: Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by StJudePray4Me My child, who goes to Catholic school, came home with a quiz about Advent and Hanukkah traditions. One question was, How many candles are on an Advent Wreath? My child answered 4, and it was marked incorrect, with 5 being the corrected answer. My child said the teacher explained there are 5.... What am I missing here? I have never seen an Advent wreath that had more than 4 candles on it... am I going crazy?
Your child's teacher is wrong. An Advent calander has four candles.
#4
Dec 10, '12, 2:17 pm
 revert_jen Regular Member Join Date: June 27, 2009 Posts: 2,668 Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

Generally, when there is a white candle (not always by any means) I haven't seen it on the advent wreath, but usually in the middle of it. (Also, I never saw the white candle at all until I was an adult.) The wreath itself almost always has 4. You might want to talk to the teacher about it. In any case it appears to be a badly worded question, and 4 should have been an acceptable answer for the way it was written.

--Jen
#5
Dec 10, '12, 2:18 pm
 SonCatcher Senior Member Join Date: April 30, 2010 Posts: 6,036 Religion: Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

In my catechism class on Advent just last week, the material explicitly stated there are four candles. Three are purple and one is rose.

Some wreaths have a fifth candle but the fifth is not required.

We use Sadlier's We Believe series.

Also, note EWTN's article about the Advent Wreath, which also states there are four candles.
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#6
Dec 10, '12, 3:11 pm
 Hmgbrd Regular Member Prayer Warrior Join Date: July 20, 2011 Posts: 2,428 Religion: Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

Four candles. Three purple for 1st, 2nd and 4th advent Sundays and one rosa for gaudate Sunday ( the 3rd Sunday). In Church our wreath has only 4. Your child was correct.
#7
Dec 10, '12, 3:12 pm
 mommy k Regular Member Prayer Warrior Join Date: August 21, 2012 Posts: 3,918 Religion: Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

Four candles-lit in this order-- purple, purple, pink, and then purple. The white candle added in the center in honor of Mary is optional. On Christmas, the candles all change to white.
#8
Dec 10, '12, 3:17 pm
 StJudePray4Me Regular Member Join Date: July 14, 2009 Posts: 949 Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by SonCatcher In my catechism class on Advent just last week, the material explicitly stated there are four candles. Three are purple and one is rose. Some wreaths have a fifth candle but the fifth is not required. We use Sadlier's We Believe series. Also, note EWTN's article about the Advent Wreath, which also states there are four candles.
Interestingly, this is the same series that we use.

Thanks for all your back up! I'm going to shoot the teacher an email and ask her to change the grade. The quiz only had 9 questions, so one incorrect answer made a big difference in the grade!
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#9
Dec 10, '12, 3:21 pm
 ellen42 New Member Join Date: March 29, 2012 Posts: 73 Religion: Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by mommy k Four candles-lit in this order-- purple, purple, pink, and then purple. The white candle added in the center in honor of Mary is optional. On Christmas, the candles all change to white.
I have to say I've never seen an advent wreath with all white candles after Christmas. Is that really a "thing" or just a local custom?
#10
Dec 10, '12, 4:37 pm
 mommy k Regular Member Prayer Warrior Join Date: August 21, 2012 Posts: 3,918 Religion: Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ellen42 I have to say I've never seen an advent wreath with all white candles after Christmas. Is that really a "thing" or just a local custom?
This is a practice that we have done for years and it was also in the booklet of prayers and meditations that came with the advent wreath we made at church.The booklet saied to change the candles at midnite Christmas eve but we do it on Christmas day.
#11
Dec 10, '12, 4:57 pm
 SMHW Senior Member Join Date: June 30, 2004 Posts: 6,588 Religion: Roman Rite Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

Some Advent wreath bases include a a spot for a white Christmas candle in the middle. But that candle is not really part of the wreath.

The so-called Christ candle is not part of a basic advent wreath.

So FOUR candles.
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#12
Dec 10, '12, 5:15 pm
 peacoat Banned Join Date: December 10, 2012 Posts: 116
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

I've always used 5 candle wreaths. In church they changed it to an awful blue and took away the white one---ugg.
#13
Dec 10, '12, 6:52 pm
 TheRealJuliane Senior Member Join Date: October 11, 2010 Posts: 19,026 Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

I've never seen any Advent wreath with more than 4 candles.

3 purple candles; one pink or rose-colored for Gaudete Sunday.
#14
Dec 11, '12, 5:31 am
 hcmusicguy New Member Join Date: July 28, 2011 Posts: 59 Religion: Catholic
Re: How many candles on an Advent Wreath?

We always had a 4-candle wreath at home, but the church I attended until I was 18 had one with a white Christmas candle in the center. After we got a Jesuit priest in late 1995, I don't recall seeing the 5th candle on that wreath anymore. The 5th candle is, of course, not required; our current Advent wreath at home has only the 4 candles and isn't even round!

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