Advent Candles

Tonight at a nearby parish they had 4 white candles for the Advent Wreath. I thought that you needed 3 purple and 1 white? Please note that I am living in Canada. I am not sure if living in Canada is relevant to this thread but a little extra information never hurt anyone.

3 purple and 1 pink. the pink one is light for the 3rd week. in Lutheran churches i have seen all blue, but never all white

Sometimes it’s difficult to get the colored candles in the right size. In situations like that, many have used white candles with a ribbon of the appropriate color tied around each one.

I am not aware of a purple candle shortage and as such would be hard pressed to believe that one couldn’t get one. I have seen Catholic suppliers who sell them regularly. Furthermore I have seen this done 10 years ago when I was here the first time.

Did they have three purple and one pink ribbon? Sometimes that is the way the colors are distinguished.
I just put together my families advent wreath - it is always exciting to me to put it out even if we don’t end up using it much during Advent now that everyone is grown and we rarely eat a meal together any more :(.

Brenda V.

A few years ago in our parish we purchased candles that were white with a band of the appropriate color near the bottom. It was an experiment and this type of candle wasn’t ordered again. If the wreathe is covered with greenery the bottom of the candle might not be readily visible.

Note that the Advent Wreath is a part of the seasonal decoration and not specified by any Church law. Like other decorations it should be in good taste and in harmony with the season, but the details are at the discretion of the decorator.

Normally you see 3 purple & 1 pink. Some churches do a white candle in the center and that is lit on Christmas.

White candles are permitted, at least in the U.S.A.

From the Book of Blessings for the U.S.A.:
“1510 … According to tradition, three of the candles are violet and the fourth is rose. However, four violet or white candles may also be used.”
(Book of Blessings, Liturgical Press, Minnesota, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1875-8, page 573).

This is an official liturgical book. The Latin edition “De Benedictionibus” does not include this section on the Blessing of the Advent Wreath. But the Vatican has approved its inclusion in the Book of Blessings for the U.S.A.

I don’t know if Canada has its own translation. Australia does not have one, despite the Latin edition being published 23 years ago.

The advent wreath in my parish hangs from the ceiling so large white candles are used (I think they’re the 7 day votives) and at the base of each votive holder is a ribbon–three purple and one rose.

My parish does not use an actual wreath. They have four candles on little stands in the sanctuary with evergreen around the base of each. The candles are white, but they are inside of purple or pink candle holders.

did they have bows of purple (or blue in some places) and one pink bow? that can be done if colored candles are not available.

It’s three Violet and one Rose. Maybe there is a shortage of color in Canada?

My wreath here at home has 3 purple , one rose and a white center one that I am told is the “Jesus” candle and is lit on Christmas morning.


I can’t say for certain but commonsense tells me that there is no shortage of violet and rose candles. All they are is white candles with coloring in them.

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