A long evening.
Having received an email from the vicar detailing the Advent programme, I got straight on the phone. Three hours, trying to put him straight.
The candles in the Advent Wreath are often in the combination of three purple, one pink and one white (we will ignore those traditionalists who insist on 4 red). When they purple / pink variety is in use, the correct combination in which to light them, week by week, is purple – purple – pink – purple. And then white for Xmas.
There are some odd people who insist on lighting the pink one fourth – claiming that it’s for the Blessed Virgin.
It’s not. Pink is not the Blessed Virgin’s colour. The generally recognised colour of Our Lady is blue. The pink candle is for the third, “happy”, Sunday when we have a bit of a relax in all the apprehension and foreboding. It’s not the candle for the Mother of God. If you think it is, you’ve got it wrong.
I know that, midst debates over gay marriage, women bishops and the possibility that one day we might all love one another, this may not seem very important. But compared to all the other issues, it’s easy to fix. All we need is for the manufacturers of Advent candles (there can’t be that many, let’s be honest) to number the candles – 1 to 5. That’s it. It’s all they need. Anyone can work that code out, surely?
Except, of course, for those who wonder where the other 20 numbers are. But you wouldn’t be able to help them.