Advent Wreath Prayer for the Third Week of Advent

Grant Us Your Grace, O Lord!

Advent wreath with three burning candles.
Advent wreath with three candles lit for the Third Week of Advent. MKucova/Getty Images

As we begin the Third Week of Advent, we anticipate Christmas, and so we ask Christ to grant us His grace that we might be prepared for welcoming His Birth. Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, marks a traditional turning point in this period of preparation, and we see it visually in the Advent wreath. Not only do we light more candles than we leave unlit for the first time in Advent—thus providing more light, symbolizing the light of Christ—but if our Advent wreath has a rose or pink candle, that's the one that we light this week.

The purple candles of the first two weeks (and of the fourth week) are symbols of penance, but the rose candle is a symbol of our coming joy.

Traditionally, the prayers used for the Advent wreath for each week of Advent are the collects, or short prayers at the beginning of Mass, for the Sunday of Advent that begins that week. The text given here is of the collect for the Third Sunday of Advent from the Traditional Latin Mass; you could also use the Opening Prayer for the Third Sunday of Advent from the current missal. (They are essentially the same prayer, with different English translations.)

Advent Wreath Prayer for the Third Week of Advent

Incline Thine ear to our prayers, O Lord, we beseech Thee; and make bright the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy visitation. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

An Explanation of the Advent Wreath Prayer for the Third Week of Advent

The Advent wreath prayers for the First Week of Advent and the Second Week of Advent have been focused on action—that of Christ in the first week, and of us (moved by Christ) in the second week.

In this Third Week of Advent we now ask Christ to lift the veil of sin from our minds. His Incarnation at Christmas sanctifies the material world, but we must be prepared to accept His grace.

Definition of Words Used in the Advent Wreath Prayer for the Second Week of Advent

Incline: to lean toward; in this sense, to be willing to listen to our prayers

Beseech: to ask with urgency, to beg, to implore

Make bright: to enlighten, to increase our understanding

Darkness: in this case, the confusion that arises from our sin, which prevents us from accepting the grace offered by Christ

Grace: the supernatural life of God within our souls

Thy visitation: Christ's birth at Christmas

Holy Ghost: another name for the Holy Spirit, less commonly used today than in the past