Whether they are family or Church customs, there are many traditions associated with the Advent and Christmas seasons which make these special times of the year special.
Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas (or sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!). Advent means ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
- Advent is what we call the season leading up to Christmas. It begins four Sundays before December 25, sometimes in the last weekend of …
- Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
- The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, which means”coming,” This is the coming of Jesus into the world.
- Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas (or sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!). Advent ends on Christmas Eve and thus is not considered part of the Christmas season. The Advent celebration is both a commemoration of Christ’s first coming and an anticipation of His second coming. It is observed with various traditions and rituals by Catholics and other liturgical groups such as Lutherans, Anglicans, and Methodists.
- The Eastern Orthodox Church does not observe Advent per se, but they do keep a long fast before Christmas. In the West, Advent has developed a more festive tone, although many churches also keep a fast and focus on prayer. sometimes, Advent is even called “Little Lent”. Advent is seen as a time to prepare one’s heart for Christmas and for the eventual return of Christ .
- Churches that observe Advent decorate their sanctuaries in the liturgical color of Advent, purple or in some cases royal blue. Some churches change the color to rose on the third or fourth Sunday of Advent to signify a greater emphasis on the joy of the season.
- One of the most common Advent traditions involves the use of evergreen wreaths, branches, and trees.
- On the first Sunday of Advent, churches and homes are decorated with green to symbolize the eternal life that Jesus brings.
An Advent Wreath And Candles
- It is usually a horizontal evergreen wreath with four colored candles, surrounding a white one in the middle—is placed in a prominent spot.
- In some churches, four purple candles, one for each week in Advent, are used with one larger white candle in the middle as the Christ candle. Other churches prefer three purple or blue candles with one candle being rose or pink, to represent joy.
- The candles are lighted one at a time, on successive Sundays.
- The lighting of a candle can be accompanied by a Bible reading, devotional time and prayers.
- The first candle is the candle of “Hope”
- The three remaining candles on the perimeter are given various meanings depending on the church.
- On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the center white candle is lighted; this is the “Christ Candle,” a reminder that Jesus, has come, to light the world.