When is Advent? Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas: November 29, 2015; November 27, 2016; December 3, 2017; December 2, 2018
Advent is a holy season in the Christian calendar. It is the beginning of the liturgical calendar. It is a very special time, as Christians wait and prepare for the coming of the Lord, Jesus whose birth we celebrate on Christmas. While Santa Claus' arrival is a big big event, we must remember Jesus' birth on earth is much bigger, and the real cause for Christmas.
In the early days of the church, Advent was a time of prayer and confession. Today, Advent is more a time of preparation and expectation of the coming of the Lord.
The Advent Wreath is an important symbol of Advent of the season. It usually sits on the dinner table and is a constant reminder of the holy season. The wreath is of German origin and consists for an evergreen wreath, and four Advent candles. Three candles are purple and one is pink.
The lighting tradition- On the fourth Sunday before Christmas (the first Sunday of Advent), the first Advent candle is lit at dinner and a short prayer is said. The first candle is lit each night along with a short prayer. On the second Sunday of Advent, a second purple candle is lit. On the third Sunday the pink candle is lit. Finally on the fourth Sunday of Advent, just a few days before the birth of Christ, the final purple candle is lit.
The Advent Wreath's Meaning:
The Advent wreath is made up of two basic parts: the wreath itself and the candles.
The wreath is made of evergreen, either real or artificial. It s circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end. The evergreen was chosen as it symbolizes growth and everlasting life.
There are four candles, three purple and one pink. They represent the four weeks of preparation. As another candle is it each week, we are reminded of the growing light of Christ's presence.
The meaning of the candles is as follows:
First Purple candle: represents hope.
Second Purple Candle: stands for love.
Third, pink candle: represents joy.
Fourth purple candle: is a symbol of peace.
Did you know? The third Sunday of Advent when the pink candle is lit is referred to as "Joyful Sunday?"
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