The Season of Advent – A Time of Getting Ready
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word for “arrival” or “coming.” It is a period of preparation for the birth of Jesus. Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and is the start of the Christmas season, which lasts through the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord. The First Sunday of Advent also marks the beginning of the church year and the beginning of a new cycle of scripture readings for the worship service.
Advent is a time of joyful anticipation as well as a season of preparation for the great Christmas feast. The liturgical color of the season is purple, a sign of penance, which is also used during Lent. There are several spiritual tools that you can use to help you observe this special season.
The Advent Wreath
The Advent Wreath represents the circle of the year and the life that endures through winter. Its origin lies with pre-Christian Germany and Scandinavia and is associated with the celebration of longer days of light following the winter solstice. Traditionally, the Advent Wreath is constructed of a circle of evergreens and three purple candles and one rose candle (for the third Sunday). The lighting of the Advent candles reminds us of the promise of the coming of Jesus, the light of the world.
When you have constructed your Advent Wreath, place it in a central location in your home and make use of the weekly prayers to observe the Advent Sundays of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love in your household.
The Global Advent Calendar #AdventWord
Many people make use of a physical Advent calendar to observe the passing days of the Advent season. This year, you can open your Advent Calendar with a twist… For the liturgical season of Advent, you can subscribe to a daily email from the Brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE). The email will contain a daily word and meditation, accompanied by a thoughtful image. You are invited to respond with an image of your own on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, or you may want to watch the calendar grow each day in Advent. When you sign up, you will receive easy instructions on how to send in images and view the Global Advent Calendar.
Who is St. Nicholas? What’s his story?
On the First Sunday of Advent, meet Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, and stay for fellowship, following the 10 am service. Remind your kids and yourself about the beginnings of Santa Claus in the life of this great and generous Saint. This is a great opportunity to join friends and family and neighbors at this special service and coffee hour.