The end of Advent and the beginning of the Christmas Season brings up the question, "What do those candles mean?" Here's one possible explanation:
1st CANDLE: THE PROPHECY CANDLE or CANDLE OF HOPE:
We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. "And again, Isaiah says, 'The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.' May the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:12-13)
2nd CANDLE: THE BETHLEHEM CANDLE
This candle typically represents love (John 3:16). Some traditions call this the "Bethlehem Candle," symbolizing Christ's manger.
3rd CANDLE (pink): THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY
The angels sang a message of JOY! “…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:7-15)
4th CANDLE: THE ANGEL CANDLE: THE CANDLE OF PEACE
Symbolizes the angel messengers who brought the announcement of the Savior to Zecharias, Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds, proclaiming the peace that we have with God through Christ. It further reminds us to be watchful and ready for the Return of the Savior at the Last Day, when He will return with His angels and take His people to be with Him in heaven (Matthew 25:31).
On Christmas Eve, the white center candle is traditionally lit. This candle is called the "Christ Candle" and represents the life of Christ that has come into the world. The color white represents purity. Christ is the sinless, spotless, pure Savior. Also, those who have been brought to know Christ as their Savior are washed of their sins and made whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7).