Advent

Advent

Advent marks the start of the liturgical year and occurs in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It is a time when we prepare our hearts and minds to welcome the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.

The history of Advent dates back to the early centuries of Christianity when the Church decided to set aside a specific period for spiritual preparation before the celebration of Christmas. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means “coming” or “arrival.” During this time, we reflect on the prophecy and promise of the coming of the Messiah and the fulfillment of God’s plan for salvation.

Advent begins on the Sunday closest to November 30th and lasts for four weeks until Christmas Eve. It is marked by the lighting of Advent candles, one for each week, symbolizing hope, peace, joy and love. These candles serve as a reminder of the light of Christ coming into the world and dispelling darkness.

The significance of Advent lies in its invitation for all Christians to slow down, to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and to prepare our hearts for the arrival of Jesus. It is a season of hope, as we look forward to the promise of God’s love and redemption. It is a season of waiting, reminding us that just as the world awaited the first coming of Christ, we also anticipate his second coming in glory.

During Advent, Christians all over the world engage in prayers, readings and acts of kindness to deepen our faith and draw closer to God. The season serves as a reminder to focus on the spiritual rather than the commercial aspects of Christmas, emphasizing the importance of love, compassion and sharing with others.

Many families build Advent wreaths and set aside special time throughout the season to light the candles and pray together. The circle of the wreath represents God in that His eternal love and His endless mercy have no beginning and no end. The evergreen branches remain green and alive, unlike other trees at this time. The candles represent Christ. When they are lit, they symbolize life and bring light and warmth, especially as the days become shorter at this time of year. Jesus鈥 birth shines eternal light on us.

 

The Sundays in Advent this year are:

  • Sunday, December 3, 2023
  • Sunday, December 10, 2023
  • Sunday, December 17, 2023
  • Sunday, December 24, 2023聽

 

Lord Jesus we ask you to prepare us during this holy Advent season as we get ready for your arrival. We look forward to the peace and joy you bring into our world.