This coming Sunday, December 24, is Christmas Eve Sunday and the beginning of Christmastide. Christmastide is the twelve days following Christmas day.
The sanctuary colors of Christmas are white, purple, and gold. White symbolizes the purity and holiness of Jesus Christ, Son of God. Yet, he is also Jesus Christ, born of a woman, being both God and human. As a human person, Jesus was like us in every respect except he was without sin. Therefore, he was able to take our sins upon himself and redeem us. Purple represents the birth of Jesus but also foreshadows his coming death. All of the colors combine against the background of gold. Gold represents the kingship of Jesus and also our joy and celebration of the Christmas season.
The Advent wreath and candles are symbols that remind us of the Christmas story. The circle of the wreath reminds us of God, his eternity and endless mercy. The green of the wreath symbolizes the hope we have in God, the hope of newness, renewal, and eternal life. The candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of his son. The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent. The one pink candle symbolizes the joy of the eminent coming of the Christ. The center white candle is called the Christ candle. This candle reminds us that the incarnation is the heart of the season. Jesus’ coming brings light and reminds us that He is the light of the world. Jesus comes into the darkness of our lives and brings new life and hope.