All About Advent
Advent – a time for waiting
Advent marks the beginning of the church year. It is a time for reflection in darkness, for renewal of hope and for a movement towards a beginning.
 
The season of Advent, as it first emerged in the Church in the fourth and fifth centuries, lasted, like Lent, for 40 days. Later tradition developed the Advent we know today, of four Sundays before Christmas Day.
 
It is a season of expectation and preparation as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming of Christ. Church decorations are simple and sparse, and purple is the traditional colour used.
 
Advent falls at the darkest time of the year, and the natural symbols of darkness and light are powerfully at work throughout Advent and Christmas. 

Four Sundays and candles

Advent wreaths are used to mark the passage of the season.
 
The keeping of an advent wreath is also a common practice in homes or churches.
 
The readings for the first Sunday in Advent relate to the old testament patriarchs who were Christ’s ancestors, so some call the first advent candle that of hope.
 
The readings for the second Sunday concern Christ’s birth in a manger and other prophecies, so the candle may be called of Bethlehem, the way or of the prophets.
 
The third Sunday is celebrated with rose-coloured vestments. The readings relate to St. John the Baptist, and the rose candle may be called of joy or of the shepherds.
 
 
The readings for the fourth Sunday relate to the annunciation of Christ’s birth, so the candle may be known as the Angel’s candle.
 
Where an advent wreath includes a fifth candle, it is known as the Christ candle and lit during the Christmas Eve service.
 
Advent Wreath Website Sidebar
A Prayer for Advent
 
Lord Jesus, Light of light, 
you have come among us. 

Help us who live by your light
to shine as lights in your world. 
Glory to God in the highest.
Amen.