Advent is a season where we slow down and savor the waiting for Christ to come, both at Christmas and His second coming
What is Advent?
Advent is the season that begins the western church year and begins four Sundays before Christmas. Christians prepare for celebrating Christmas by first remembering the longing of the Jews for a Messiah. During Advent, we’re reminded of how much we need a Savior, and we look forward to our Savior’s second coming even as we prepare to celebrate his first coming at Christmas. Advent is a time in which we slow down our lives and savor this time of waiting, examining our lives and preparing our hearts for His coming. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming” or “visit.” During this time we keep in mind both “advents” of Christ, the first in Bethlehem and the second yet to come.
Ways to Celebrate
- Prepare yourself for Christmas during this Advent season by reading and meditating on the daily and weekly Scripture readings from the Lectionary.
- Celebrate Advent as a family by making your own Advent wreath. Read through the Sunday passages as a family and pray the weekly prayer as you light the Advent candle for the week
- Prepare your hearts by slowing down during this busy season by fasting (food, media, whatever it is that consumes you)
- Decorate something in your house in Advent purple to remind you to be in a spirit of prayer and repentance.
The Advent Wreath
- The Advent Wreath is the liturgical symbol of Advent
- It is composed of five candles. Three purple, one pink, and one white
- Purple is the liturgical color that means humility, penance, prayer, and melancholy. The purple candles are lit the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Sunday of Advent
- Pink is a color that means joy. The pink candle is lit on the 3rd or Gaudete Sunday. Gaurdete means rejoice.
- The white candle is lit on Christmas Eve and Christmas day and represents Christ the Savior.
Advent 1: Almighty God, as Your kingdom dawns, turn us from the darkness of sin to the light of holiness, that we may be ready to meet You in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Advent 2: Almighty God, purify our hearts and minds, that when Your Son Jesus Christ comes again as judge and Savior we may be ready to receive Him, who is our Lord and our God.
Advent 3: God for whom we watch and wait, you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of Your Son: give us courage to speak the truth, to hunger for justice, and to suffer for the cause of right, with Jesus Christ our Lord.
Advent 4: Eternal God, as Mary waited for the birth of Your Son, so we wait for His coming in glory; bring us through the birth pangs of this present age to see, with her, our great salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christmas Eve: Almighty God, as we prepare with joy to celebrate the gift of the Christ-child, embrace the earth with Your glory and be for us a living hope in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christmas Day: Lord Jesus Christ, Your birth at Bethlehem draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth; accept our heartfelt praise as we worship You, our Savior and our eternal God.
Readings for each week begin on Thursday. Thursday – Saturday readings prepare you for the Sunday reading. Monday – Wednesday readings help you reflect on the Sunday reading.
Thursday – Psalm 12, Dan. 9:15-19, James 4:1-10
Friday – Psalm 122, Gen. 6:1-10, Heb. 11:1-7
Saturday – Psalm 122, Gen. 6:11-22, Matt. 24:1-22
Sunday – Nov. 27 First Sunday of Advent – Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122, Rom. 13:11-14, Matt.24:36-44
Monday – Psalm 124, Gen. 8:1-19, Rom. 6:1-11
Tuesday – Psalm 124, Gen. 9:1-17, Heb.11:32-40
Wednesday – Psalm 124, Isa. 54:1-10, Matt 24:23-35