I've spent most of my advent career arguing with ushers about the pink candle on the Advent wreath.
It has been my joy and pleasure to have been the only pastor who ever told them that we light the pink candle on the THIRD, not the fourth Sunday in Advent. Or so they tell me. All the while knowing I would undoubtedly be followed by a pastor who didn't give a flying fig what candle they lit.
Originally Advent was a time of fasting and preparation, similar to Lent and purple in color like Lent.
The Third Sunday, with its readings emphasizing joy, became a break in the fast. "Gaudete" meaning "Rejoice" was the first word of the introit for the Mass that day. Rose colored vestments were used for that day and still are in the Catholic church and some Lutheran churches that still have some regard for tradition.
I can't find any reference to it online or where I read it but I swear I read somewhere that when we moved from purple to blue, we made the whole rose colored "Gaudete Sunday" irrelevant.
The change to blue for Advent signified a change in mood for somber repentance to subdued hope.
Nobody got that memo though and once when we needed to order new candles for the advent wreath I tried to avoid the whole pink candle conundrum by ordering 4 blue candles. That was not an option at Augsburg-Fortress.
I wonder how much of our congregational liturgical practice is really dictated to us by our publishing house?
Silly me to think that being part of a liturgical tradition means we actually FOLLOW liturgical traditions, not make up our own or do whatever we please. I don't know why it matters to me, but it does.
Ah well. It will still be Christmas. The baby will be born. The angels will sing. The shepherds will rise up and follow.
And all will be well.