In this lesson we focus on the themes surrounding the first week in Advent, as we journey to Holy Christmas. We will specifically study the history of Advent and it's importance as we spiritually await the Advent of the Savior to the world.
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Advent Chant Book with Candle
Advent is a time for Catholics to prepare spiritually for Christmas. We reserve the real celebration for the actual birth of Christ and resist engaging in real festivity until the actual birthday of Christ. During Advent we make a special effort to pray, attend Mass during the week, go to Confession, and prepare ourselves to celebrate God becoming man.
You’ll notice that in your parish you won’t hear Christmas carols or hymns until Christmas. Celebratory music is played from Christmas until the Epiphany, but not during the Advent Season.
Advent as a season is quite ancient. The season itself went through slow development, taking form in the 4th century, and reaching a definite form in Rome by 6th century. Advent starts on the Sunday nearest Nov 30 (Saint Andrew), and forms the beginning of the liturgical year by the 10th century. It started earlier at one time (as early as Nov 11) because it was fashioned after Lent, so it had forty days originally in some areas, and even earlier in other areas (September) which forms the basis of the monastic fast. By the 6th-7th centuries the number is set as a span of four Sundays. The 1962 Missal texts preserve most of the ancient Masses of this season.
The First Sunday of Advent is the start of a new liturgical year in the Church. At Mass you might have noted the purple vestments of the priest and deacon if your parish has a deacon. You might have seen less decoration than usual, no colorful flowers for example. Probably the most prominent thing you noticed at your parish was the Advent wreath. The wreath was probably blessed after the general intercessions and then the first candle was lit. These are all signs of the new liturgical season of the Church. The gospel reading presented by the Church also reminds of the season. Jesus told his followers and all people to “Watch!” The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word for “arrival” or “coming.” It is during this season that we “watch” for the coming or arrival of Jesus: both in the remembrance of his arrival as a baby 2,000 years ago and for his coming or arrival in the Second Coming.
The name Advent (From the Latin word Adventus, which signifies a coming) is applied, in the Latin Church, to that period of the year, during which the Church requires the faithful to prepare for the celebration of the feast of Christmas, the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. Th... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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