Remembrance, like a candle, burns brightest at Christmastime.—Charles Dickens (1812–1870)

I light this Advent candle in ANTICIPATION…

The fact that we don’t know the exact date of Jesus’ birth doesn’t matter; what counts is that He was born. Amidst all our busy activities, let us pause to think about the Savior who lived, died, and rose again for our sake.1

Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.—Edward Hays (b. 1932), A Pilgrim’s Almanac

I light this candle in THANKS…

The joys and sorrows, successes and failures, achievements and disappointments of the past year are behind us now. Let us give thanks for them all, acknowledging that “God meant it for good.”2

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.—Brian Tracy (b. 1944)

I light this candle in MEMORY…

It is customary to hold memorial services during Advent. Whether alone or in company, let us remember those who have gone before us.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)

I light this candle in SOLIDARITY…

Not everyone has the blessing of a happy family, a roof overhead, or even enough to eat. Let us pray for those who are sick, lonely, bereft, or impoverished, and let us show our solidarity by reaching out to offer our assistance and companionship, as much as we are able.

The Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide-open heart that thinks of others first.—George Matthew Adams (1878–1962)

I light this candle in PRAYER…

A new year is about to be born. Let us bring our hopes and expectations to God, and trust Him to walk with us on the path ahead.3

Walk with me, oh my Lord,
Through the darkest night and brightest day.
Be at my side, O Lord,
Hold my hand and guide me on my way.
Estelle White (1925–2011)

  1. See Romans 14:9.
  2. See Genesis 50:20.
  3. See Psalm 16:11.