Today is the first Sunday of Advent (What is Advent?)

Traditionally, Advent is celebrated with readings and prayers from the Bible and lighting of Advent candles, in church or at home.  I like to devote a moment each Sunday evening in Advent for a moment of quiet meditation by candlelight.  It is a nice way to start the week, as the holidays begin to roll around.

If you would like to see the readings for the first Sunday in Advent (today), you can find them here.  Or, alternatively, read something that you find personally meaningful, or reflect on the ways you will find peace and spread joy this holiday season.

From Wikipedia

Advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming“) is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi. The Eastern churches’ equivalent of Advent is called the Nativity Fast, but it differs both in length and observances and does not begin the church year, which starts instead on September 1.[1]

The progression of the season may be marked with an Advent calendar, a practice introduced by German Lutherans. At least in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, the Sunday from November 27 to December 3 inclusive.

Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ’s return.

The Advent wreath, or Advent crown, is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western church. It is usually a horizontal evergreen wreath with four candles. Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, the lighting of a candle can be accompanied by a Bible reading and prayers. An additional candle is lit during each subsequent week until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit. Some Advent wreaths include a fifth, “Christ” candle which can be lit at Christmas. The custom is observed both in family settings and at public church services.

 

 

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