Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

5415 Raleigh-LaGrange Road

Memphis, TN 38134

Rev. Jim Turriff, Pastor


Please join us this Sunday

Bible Hour for all ages 9:00AM - Sep. through May

Worship Service 10:15AM


What is Advent?  Advent is a special time for Christians.  It is the beginning of a new church year, which starts with the anticipation of the Nativity of Jesus.  The word Advent derives from the Latin word “adventum”, which means “coming”.  So, during this period of time, Christians look forward to and wait with anticipation for the coming birth of our Savior.  Old Testament prophecies surrounding the birth and messianic role of Jesus are read.  The events leading to the virgin birth of Jesus are expounded.  The joyous expectations and hopes of the shepherds are manifest.  During Advent, we look forward to the coming of Christ in the flesh.  We wait in anticipation, with tranquility, serenity, eagerness, and joyfulness.  Not only for the coming that was, but also, for the coming that is, and the coming that will be.  Thus, the coming of Jesus manifests itself in three ways – the birth of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem, the entry of Jesus into our hearts in a gracious saving capacity, and the return of Jesus in glory at the end time.  

Blessings on your Advent preparation to welcome the King, our Savior Jesus.

Advent Calendar

Nov. 27   Advent Week 1 (Sun.)                      10:15 AM

Nov. 30   Midweek Advent Worship (Wed.)       7:00 PM (dinner in the

                fellowship hall at 6:00 PM) 

Dec. 4     Advent Week 2 (Sun.)                       10:15 AM (Communion)

Dec. 7     Midweek Advent Worship (Wed.)        7:00 PM (dinner in the

                fellowship hall at 6:00 PM)

Dec. 11   Advent Week 3 (Sun.)                       10:15 AM

Dec. 14   Midweek Advent Worship (Wed.)        7:00 PM (dinner in the

                fellowship hall at 6:00 PM)

Dec. 18   Advent Week 4 (Sun.)                       10:15 AM (Communion)

Dec. 24   Christmas Eve Worship (Sat.)             6:00 PM

Dec. 25   Christmas Day (Sun.)                        10:15 AM

The Advent Wreath

The Advent wreath is a symbolic tradition used by Christians during the four-week period of the Church year referred to as Advent.  The wreath is made of evergreens with four candles positioned equal distance apart around the wreath.  Each week during Advent another candle is lit on the wreath until all four are burning.

The origins of the Advent wreath are debated.  A common belief is that Christians adapted candle lighting customs from pre-Christian Germanic tribes, and simply replaced the old customs with new and Biblical meaning.  Regardless of what was the exact origin, today the candles point to Jesus, the Light of the world (John 3:17-21).  The evergreen wreath reminds believers that our Savior God grants new and everlasting life in Jesus. The wreath is also a symbol of victory because a garland wreath was often placed on victors in contests or conquests.  So naturally, a Christian can think of the crown of life that Jesus has won for us. The four candles in an Advent wreath represent the four-week period of penitence and preparation during Advent, as the coming of the Light of the world to bring new life and hope is eagerly awaited.  Today, Advent wreathes are used in many Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Catholic churches, and homes of Christian families.

Since the custom has experienced so many different adaptations, numerous explanations of the four candles exist.  The first candle is commonly called the "Hope Candle", “Prophecy Candle”, or the “Expectation Candle”.  The first candle reminds believers that God had promised throughout the Old Testament that He would send a Messiah, the Shepherd King, to save his people.  The second candle is known as the "Peace Candle", the “Bethlehem Candle”, or the “Preparation Candle”.  The third candle is sometimes referred to as the "Joy Candle" or the “Shepherds’ Candle” and is often pink in color.  The fourth candle is called the "Love Candle" or the “Angel Candle".  Naturally, for all of these themes, appropriate Scripture references can be cited to help hearers and worshippers consider the various Advent themes of preparation, repentance, fulfillment of promises, and the joy of Christ’s coming.

The colors of the advent candles also vary. The oldest tradition is three purple candles, the color of royalty and repentance which is appropriate for the coming of the King of kings.  A rose or pink colored candle was used for the third Sunday to represent the joy of the shepherds as they heard the news.  More recently, all four candles are a deep blue color, reflecting the liturgical color of Advent that is in common use today.  Blue is the color that reminds us of heaven and the expectation we have that Jesus is coming again.  Pink is often still used for the third candle to signify rejoicing.  Sometimes a fifth white candle, known as the “Christ Candle”, is placed in the center of the wreath and lit on Christmas.

The Advent wreath appropriately augments our Scripture and hymn preparation that interweave the three “comings” of Christ (past, present, and future).  Past, His coming in all humility as the Christ Child.  Present, that He is the source of salvation and will come into our hearts by grace through faith so that we may be heirs of His heavenly glory.  Future, His promise that He will come again in glory.