Nov. 28 was the first Sunday of Advent.

St. Joseph School seventh grader and altar server Olivia Brewer lit an Advent wreath candle marking the beginning of a new liturgical year.

St. Joseph Church Associate Pastor Father Brian Cundall then blessed the wreath. The Advent season takes in the four Sundays leading up to the celebration of Christmas.

Advent wreaths are typically made of evergreen branches encircling the four candles. Three are purple and one is rose-colored. The purple candles stand for the prayer, penance and preparatory sacrifices and good works undertaken during this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, known as Gaudete Sunday, which Pope Francis calls “the Sunday of Joy.” It emphasizes the joyous anticipation of the Lord’s coming.

The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope of Jesus Christ’s arrival into the world and the anticipation of his second coming.

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