✍️DEFINITION OF ADVENT:Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas (or sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!).
Advent means ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
There are three meanings of ‘coming’ that Christians describe in Advent. The first, and most thought of, happened about 2000 years ago when Jesus came into the world as a baby to live as a man and die for us.
The second can happen now as Jesus wants to come into our lives now. And the third will happen in the future when Jesus comes back to the world as King and Judge, not a baby.
Advent Sunday can be from the 27th November to the 3rd December! Advent only starts on the 1st December when Christmas Day is on a Wednesday!
This year it began on sunday, 29/11/2020. It also marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. We are beginning year B.
✍️ SYMBOLS AND CUSTOMS OF ADVENT…
1. ✴️ THE ADVENT WREATH
Traditionally the Advent wreath is made of evergreen branches formed into a circle with 4 candles held within.
The evergreen circle is a symbol of eternal life.
Green from the evergreen is considered a symbol of hope.
2.✴️ THE 4 CANDLES OF ADVENT REPRESENT?
Advent Candles are usually comprised of three purple candles with one rose or pink. The candles recall the weeks that pass until Christmas. Purple candles symbolize waiting, also penitential.
Rose or Pink is used on the third Sunday of Advent to symbolize rejoicing, since the Third Sunday of Advent is referred to as Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday.It is an important reminder in the Advent season of preparation, of the joy that is ours in knowing the power of love in our lives.
They are lit, light used as a symbol of Christ being the light of the World coming through the darkness.
Sometimes a white candle is placed in the middle, people use when lit as the representation of Christ entering the world.
The three Advent candle colors, purple, pink, and white—symbolically represent the spiritual preparation that believers undergo to prepare their hearts for the birth (or coming) of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Other variations of the themes celebrated on each of the four Sundays include: The Prophets’ Candle, symbolizing hope; the Bethlehem Candle, symbolizing faith; the Shepherds’ Candle, symbolizing joy; the Angel’s Candle, symbolizing peace. Hope–Peace–Joy–Love.
✍️LIGHTING THE CANDLES?
? Light the first candle on the first Sunday of Advent. – This candle represents the hope that people felt before the birth of Jesus, and you can read Isaiah 64:1–9 to accompany your lighting.
? On the following Sunday, light both the first purple candle and a second purple candle.
This one represents faith and how people believed in God before Jesus’s birth, and you can read Isaiah 40:1–11 after you light it.
?Light the pink candle on the third Sunday to represent joy. Light the first 2 purple candles, then light your pink candle as well. You can read John 1:6–8, 8–11
? On the last Sunday of Advent, light all 4 candles at the same time, including the unlit purple one.
The fourth and final candle represents waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ, so you can talk about your anticipation and excitement for Christmas. Read Luke 1:26–38 as you light this candle.
?Light the white candle on Christmas Eve. The final Advent candle represents the coming of Christ.
You can light this one on Christmas Eve or Christmas as you celebrate Jesus’s birth.
The candle is white to represent the purity and the lack of sin that Jesus had when he was born.
✍️WHAT DO YOU SAY WHEN LIGHTING ADVENT CANDLES?
After the candle is lit you can say the following antiphon
‘One candle, burning bright, Chasing away the darkness from light. One candle, glowing light, The blessing of God, giving new sight’
3. ✴️THE JESSE TREE….
The Jesse Tree is named for Jesse the father of King David whose line can be traced to St. Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus.
Used as a symbol to explain the Old Testament generational connection between Adam, Abraham and Jesus as explained in Gospels Matthew and Luke.
Popular symbols represent people of the Old Testament including King David as a crown and Noah as a boat.
NOW YOU KNOW….