About Advent – Preparing for the Advent of Christ

What is Advent?

  • A season of hope and preparation for the celebration of birth of Christ Jesus.

When is Advent?

  • The four Sundays preceding December 25th.

Why Blue?

  • Many churches use purple, like Lent
    • Purple is a royal color,
    • Purple is considered a “penitential” color – it links to the purple robe placed on Christ when the Roman soldiers taunted and tortured him.
  • Another ancient tradition is to use blue
    • Blue is a color of hope
    • Blue helps distinguish Advent from Lent

What happens in Advent?

  • Advent is a season to welcome Christ Jesus as he comes to us
    • at the consummation of time,
    • in the child of Mary, and
    • in our daily lives.

Watch

  • The first Sunday of Advent looks towards the horizon of human history and the consummation of all things (what is often referred to as the ‘return’ or ‘second coming’ of Christ) and urges us to be awake and watchful for that day.

Prepare

  • The second Sunday of Advent turns to John the Baptist who heralded the coming of Christ Jesus, urging people to prepare for the dawning reign of God.

Rejoice

  • The third Sunday in Advent has been known as “Gaudete” Sunday, from the Latin word, “Rejoice”
    • The word ‘Rejoice’ was the first word of the opening verse known as the Introit in the ancient liturgy and expressed the theme for that Sunday.
    • The day was a break in the Advent fast, the spiritual discipline to prepare for Christmas.
    • The day included the singing of the Magnificat, the Song of Mary (while pregnant with Jesus) when she was greeted by Elizabeth (who was pregnant with John) and Elizabeth’s child leaped for joy in her womb:
      “My soul magnifies the Lord,
      and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
      for he has regarded the low estate of his hand maiden…”
  • A pink candle, a color associated with Mary, traditionally marked this Sunday.
  • The Sunday Gospel reading continues the message of John.

Behold

  • By this fourth Sunday of the season we are looking towards Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the wonder of what God has promised.

Special elements of the season

Gathering of gifts for children in need

  • At the beginning of the season we gather new, unwrapped gifts for children in need.
  • In 2014 those gifts are being directed to the Support Network (YWCA Domestic Violence Department Support Network Program).

Christmas Party

  • Early in December we hold a special Christmas celebration of great food and music in which we gather the gifts and place them under the tree in the sanctuary to be blessed on Sunday morning before being distributed to those in need.

The Children’s Christmas Program

  • Normally, the third Sunday of Advent involves the young people in a presentation of a special Christmas Program.

The Advent Wreath

  • Each Sunday our worship begins with the lighting of the Advent Wreath by one of the families or members of the congregation.