It is that period of the year during which the Church requires the faithful
to prepare for the
celebration of the feast of Christmas, the anniversary of the birth and coming of Jesus Christ. The mystery of that great day had every right to the honour of being prepared for by prayer and works of penance.
The focus of Advent is by no means limited to just Christ's first coming. An equal, if not more
important theme found in the Advent Liturgy is the Second Coming of Christ when He comes
again to judge the world.
It is somewhat similiar to Lent which prepares us for Easter, the greatest
feast in the calendar of the Church. Originally the observance of Advent
was made up of fasting and took up forty days as with Lent but was reduced
to four weeks. The first allusion to Advent's being reduced to four weeks
is to be found in the ninth century, in a letter of Pope St. Nicholas I
to the Bulgarians.
The Greek Church still continues to observe the fast of Advent, though with much less rigour than that of Lent. It consists of forty days, beginning with November 14, the day on which this Church keeps the feast of the apostle St. Philip.
The first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to 30th November, the feast of St Andrew and the fourth Sunday of Advent is the Sunday before 25th December. The First Sunday of Advent falls between November 27 and December 3. The Advent season will thus have between 21 and 28 days, depending upon where this Sunday falls.
The first Sunday of Advent is also the first Sunday of the new Church liturgical year. Advent marks the beginning of the new Church calendar.
The liturgical colour for the season of Advent is purple for purple
shows the majesty which
heralds the coming of the King of Kings.
|Symbolism of the Advent Wreath|
Ancient symbol of immortality, life and growth and everlasting love of God
Symbolizes the unending and eternity of God who is, was and always will be
Symbol of God's presence and darkness its opposite, a symbol of His absence
Darkness stands for lack of salvation which is overcome by the arrival of Christ the Messiah (Isa.9:2)(Romans 13:12)
The four candles spread light into darkness.
Each candle represent each week of Advent and will be lighted accordingly. By the Fourth Sunday of Advent, all four candles will be lighted.
Three candles are purple and one is pink.
The pink candle is lighted on Third Sunday of Advent which is also known as Sunday of joy.
On Christmas Eve the wreath will have a white candle in the center.
The white stands for purity
and joy. It is known as the Christ candle which represents Christ born on Christmas day.
|[The Meaning of Advent]
[The Twelve Days of Christmas' Song]
[My Favourite Christmas Carols]
|[The Meaning of Christmas]
[My Christmas Greeting For You]