Advent

AdventAdvent is a four week period during which the Church prepares for the coming of Jesus at Christmas and His second coming at the end of time when He will judge the living and the dead. The Latin word ‘Adventus’ means ‘coming’. This year the First Sunday of Advent falls on 28th November. Advent continues up until Christmas Eve.

Advent is therefore a time of preparation. For four weeks Christians await with increasing expectation the coming of Christ. This time is marked by a spirit of waiting, conversion and hope:

•    We wait in memory of the first coming of Christ, in humble circumstances as a child in Bethlehem. We also wait in expectation of the Lord’s Second Coming at the end of the world.
•    We are attentive to the call to conversion, bearing in mind the words of Saint John the Baptist: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 3:2).
•    We are filled with joyful hope at the salvation already accomplished by Christ and the reality of grace in the world.

 
The new Church Year

Violet vestmentsThe season of Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s liturgical year. This development is reflected symbolically by colour. The green of Ordinary Time is replaced by the violet of Advent. This colour (also used during Lent) reflects the penitential character of the season. There is joy in preparing for the Nativity of the Lord but the liturgy also emphasises the theme of being ready for the coming of Christ. Undertaking penance, prayer and good works is important at this time.

The Third of the Four Sundays of Advent offers an exception to the penitential theme. On this day known as ‘Rejoice Sunday’ (Gaudete Sunday) the Church optionally employs the colour rose to signify the approach of the joy associated with Christmas. Throughout Advent the ‘Gloria’ is omitted from Mass. The readings focus on personalities from the Old and New Testament who were prepared by God to make the Incarnation possible.

 Read more about aspects of Advent by clicking on the sub-headings from the menu on the left.