Welcome to Heaven's Beauty / Wisdom Of Our Lord
Welcome to "What is an Advent"
The word Advent is from the Latin adventus for "coming" and is associated with the four weeks of
preparation for Christmas.
Advent always contains four Sundays, beginning on the Sunday
nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, (November 30) and continuing
until December 24.
It blends together a penitential spirit, very similar to Lent,
a liturgical theme of preparation for the Second and Final Coming of the
Lord, called the Parousia, and a joyful theme of getting ready for the
Since the 900s Advent has been considered the beginning of the
Church year. This does not mean that Advent is the most important time of the
year. Easter has always had this honor.
The traditional color of Advent is purple or violet which
symbolizes the penitential spirit. Religious traditions associated with
Advent express all these themes.
Customarily the Advent Wreath is constructed of a circle of
evergreen branches into which are inserted four candles. According to
tradition, three of the candles are violet and the fourth is rose. However,
four violet or white candles may also be used (Book of Blessings
The rose candle is lit the third Sunday of Advent, for this
color anticipates and symbolizes the Christmas joy announced in the first
word of the Entrance Antiphon: "Rejoice" (Latin, Gaudete). For
this reason the Third Sunday is also called Gaudete Sunday, and rose
color vestments are permitted.
The Advent Wreath represents the long time when people lived in spiritual
darkness, waiting for the coming of the Messiah, the Light of the world. Each
year in Advent people wait once again in darkness for the coming of the Lord,
His historical coming in the mystery of Bethlehem, His final coming at the
end of time, and His special coming in every moment of grace.
During Advent, family and friends can gather around the Advent Wreath
lighting the appropriate candle(s), read from the daily Advent meditation and
sing songs. The Church's official Book of Blessings also provides a blessing
ceremony for the advent wreath which can be used in the absence of a
During Advent, biblical persons representing the ancestors of
Jesus, either in faith or bloodline, are gradually added onto a tree or
branch, named after the father of David. The symbols such as Adam, Noah,
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Jesse, David, Solomon, Joseph and Mary can be
drawn, cut out or purchased.
This is a popular rendition of the Jesse Tree and is usually
purchased in a religious goods store. It has windows to be opened each day
during Advent, each displaying a feature of the coming of the Christ Child.
On December 24 the door is opened, revealing the Nativity scene.
A personal calendar can be made for the four weeks before
Christmas. On the calendar, a person can mark the Advent Calendar with
personal goals of preparation or acts of service to be done for others.
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