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Advent: Official start of the Christmas Season

On Sunday, December 2, 2012, Catholics the world over will observe the first Sunday of Advent, marking the official start of the Christmas season.

On Sunday, December 2, 2012,Catholics the world over will observe the first Sunday of Advent.   Advent is the four Sundays leading to Christmastime and is officially considered as the start of the Christmas Season.

The word Advent is from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming” or “appearance.”  It is the four Sundays before Christmas and is developed in a way as to help the Christian faithful prepare   not only to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in his First Coming but also to help them look forward to his glorious Second Coming.

According to Wikipedia the theme of readings and teachings during Advent is often to prepare for the Second Coming while commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas.

Origins

There is no known date when the liturgical season first came to be celebrated. However is believed that the liturgical season was established around the latter part of the 6th century and first half of the 7th century.

At first, Advent was celebrated for five Sundays but Pope Gregory VII, who reigned from 1073-85, reduced it to four Sundays.

Traditions

The lighting of candles in the Advent wreath is one of the best known advent customs.  The decorated evergreen wreath has four candles placed in the circle and a single white candle in the center.  It is said to represent the never-ending circle of God’s love.

The green color of the wreath symbolizes the hope of eternal life that comes through Christ.

The light of the candles reminds us about Jesus as the light of the World.  His birth in Bethlehem was the light in the darkness of the world.

Even the color of the wreath’s candles symbolizes something. Purple is the color of the outer candles—the color of royalty, and customarily the third one is rose or pink.  The symbolism of the candles is hope, love, joy, and peace that come through Jesus Christ. The candles are lit each Sunday during mass.

The covenants that God made with his servants, beginning with Noah and continuing through Abraham, Moses, and David is likewise representative of the four candles.

The candle at the center of the wreath is known as the Christ candle.  Representing the new covenant made through Christ it is lit on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

 

 

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About Henry James Go Roca

Henry James Go Roca
is currently employed with the City Government of Tacloban and considers writing his passion. Previously he had writing stints with a number of local newspapers in Leyte before doing PR work for the government.

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