First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177

Candles, Windows, Comfort and Joy

What is ‘The Hanging of the Greens?’

Rev. Dr. Pat Kriss(Posted November 30, 2023)

“A candle in the window welcomes travelers. A candle symbolizes celebration and gratefulness.”

At this time every year, we illuminate the many candles in the windows of First Congregational Church, Danbury. Without exception, every year one or more people call us to tell us how much they enjoy driving down West Street or Deer Hill Avenue and seeing that procession of candles in the church windows. While there’s much to be said for newness and trendiness, in the return of familiar signs of a season we call tradition, we find comfort and joy.

Church Services on Sunday

In-Person Service begins at 10 a.m. Facemasks are optional if you are fully vaccinated.

Watch us on Facebook: We livestream our services to Facebook. You may view them live or on demand at

What Does a Candle in the Window Mean?

The candles are not merely a staple of our church community’s Christmas season. A candle in the window has had many meanings over the millennia when we see them in someone’s window.

  • It may symbolize that someone who is loved is missing that Christmas.
  • Or it may symbolize that we are waiting and praying for the safe return of someone who is far from home.
  • For the traveler it’s a sign of hospitality, of welcome – which is why some commercials for motels mention that they’ll “leave the lights on for you.”

What is the ‘Hanging of the Greens?’

At First Church, along with our candles, this Sunday marks other traditions of our heritage. On December 3, the very first Sunday of Advent, we celebrate “The Hanging of the Greens.”

  • The Choir is present and ready to bring us some spirit-raising carols.
  • Our Sanctuary is festooned with twinkling wreaths and garlands.
  • The congregation of members and friends step forward and help decorate the Christmas trees with ornaments and angels.
  • Already hidden in the branches are pictures of our loved ones who are still part of our Christmas, even though they have gone on to dwell with God.
  • And members of our community step forward to light the very first candle of four that make up our Advent Wreath – three blue candles and one bright pink one, as we wait, week by week, for Christmas Eve.  

After all, that’s what Advent is – the act of waiting for the arrival of the One who will save this sorry world from itself.

I invite you to join us this Sunday when the light of our candles and our tradition will help put joy back into your day and your season. There might even be some gingerbread around!


First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177

Office Hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday Closed

Thrift Shop Hours:
Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday   10:00 a.m.–11 a.m.


Follow Us!