Sacrements


The word ‘advent’ is Latin for ‘a coming or arrival’.dscf0040-11

The idea behind it is that God came to earthly life and lived among us, which is news to stop the presses for. It’s something to celebrate, rejoice, because just by being in it, God was giving the supreme blessing to the created world. But this birth led to an execution of this same God on behalf of us, and then the greatest news that death will not end it all. So it’s not something you just go rushing into. We need to take stock of what that baby Jesus was here for. When we see the baby and the birth, the adult Jesus and His execution are also in sight.

And with this comes symbolism used by most churches.

So we will focus the simple Advent candle.

The Candles symbolize that Jesus is the Light of the World.

There are four candles, one for each Sunday leading to Christmas and a fifth candle for Christmas day. The four Sunday candles are usually tapers. There are variations in the colouring of the candles, often there are three purple and one pink candle. Occasionally, all of the candles are purple. The central candle is usually a large white pillar candle.

The purple represents repentance. The pink symbolizes joy. The central candle is called the Christ candle and is not lit until Christmas day. When you light the candle it is customary to read a few verses of scripture that relate to meaning of the candle. Often the person who lights the candle recites a short statement of belief and faith as the candle is lit and then everyone unites in prayer.

The First Candle (The Candle of Prophecy/Hope)

The first candle is sometimes called the candle of prophecy because it symbolizes the promises the prophets delivered as messages from God; promises that foretold Christ’s birth. Others consider the candle to be a symbol of the hope we have in Christ and so it is called the Hope candle.

The Second Candle (The Candle of the Way)

The second candle shows that Christ is the Way. Christians are lost in sin and Christ is the Light sent into the world to show them the way out of darkness.

The Third Candle (The Candle of Joy)

The third candle indicates that the only lasting Joy to be found in life on earth is through Christ. All other joy is fleeting and does not last.

The Fourth Candle (The Candle of Peace)

The fourth candle reminds that Jesus comes to bring Peace to both the world and to people’s hearts. Without Christ there is no peace in this world.

The Fifth Candle (The Christ Candle or Christmas Candle)

The fifth candle represents Christ himself who is born to save people from their sins. It is a celebration of the fulfilment of prophecy as represented in Christ’s birth and hope in the final fulfilment when Christ comes again and Christians join him.

 

 

I have been listening to Father John Corapi (a Catholic convert as opposed to a cradle Catholic!) on ‘how to make a good confession’.

Our church does not do confession in the Catholic sense…However it gave me a very good understanding on the sacrament of reconciliation (formerly confession).

One point which I thought was interesting was this: If we are to be forgiven for our sin we must have healing as well. If you think of a nail in a plank of wood, when that is removed it leaves a wound in the wood and that is the same with us, when sin is removed it leaves a space which can be occupied by other sin – thus the need for healing to go with confession.

So if you have a healing service then I would guess you would need to spend some time in confession before healing can take place…actually as far as I am aware we should confess our sins before we take communion but I digress.

http://www.fathercorapi.com/popularproducts.aspx?UserID=261087&SessionID=3tYnJAprfmIuVb2BOztj

and here is a multitude of sacramental documents etc.

http://www.shc.edu/theolibrary/sac.htm

The theology of my church does not agree with some of the Catholic ideas (purgatory for instance!) but where else do we turn to learn about such things that are not practised within our own denomination.