The Advent wreath is a long standing Catholic tradition. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles symbolize the prayer, penance, and good works undertaken during these Advent weeks. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, which is called Gaudete Sunday, which is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.