Advent, beginning this year on November 27, is the first season of the church year, beginning with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continuing through the day before Christmas. The name is derived from a Latin word for “coming.” The season is a time of preparation and expectation for the coming celebration of our Lord’s nativity, and for the final coming of Christ “in power and glory.”
The Advent Season is all about reflecting on how we can prepare our hearts and homes for Christ’s birth in the world as it is today. It is a time for faith communities and families to remember, through prayer, reflections, special music, and good deeds what the true meaning of Jesus’ birth is.
The four Sundays of Advent are also commemorated by the lighting of the Advent Wreath. The circular wreath represents eternity. Four or five candles are arranged on the wreath, depending on whether a center candle for Christmas is used. Set on the outer wreath are four candles: three are blue and one is rose. One candle on the outer ring is lit each Sunday. The wreath and the lighting of the candles successively each Sunday represents the light of Christ coming into the world.