Many people see the beginning of Advent as the official start of the Christmas season, as a way of counting down the days until Christmas. It is that but much, much more.
WHAT IS ADVENT?
Advent comes from the Latin meaning approach or coming.
Advent is a time of:
- Waitng - when we wait for the coming of Messiah.
- Preparation - when we prepare ourselves for Christ's coming.
- Remembrance - when we remember the coming of our Lord and Saviour as baby Jesus.
- Anticipation - when we anticipate and look forward to the second coming Messiah.
WHEN IS ADVENT?
To figure the date of Advent, find the Sunday just before Christmas Day and then count back 4 Sundays (including the Sunday just before Christmas).
Example for 2008: The Sunday just before Christmas is December 21st. Then count back 4 Sundays takes us to November 30th. So for the year 2008, Advent begins on November 30th, the 2nd Sunday is December 7th, the 3rd is December 14th, and the 4th Sunday of Advent is December 21st.
THE ADVENT WREATH
The Advent Wreath is an outward symbol in which to help us remember and reflect upon all the promises God has made and kept while we are waiting for the coming of Jesus (his birth and his future return).
It consists of a circle of evergreen branches and 4 (sometimes) 5 candles.