The Meaning of Advent

Posted by Gidget Vickers on November 30, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Everyone recognizes the Advent calendars they see in the store with the candy treats behing each pushout section of the holiday decorated cardboard calendar. But , the question is: do we know what that calendar means? Where did this tradition come from? Is it just a way for children to count the days until Christmas or Santa's arrival?

As we prepare for the Christmas season I wanted to share with you the explanation of Advent.


Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming".


Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday. The Eastern churches' equivalent of Advent is called the Nativity Fast, but it differs in both length and observances and does not begin the church year, which starts instead on September 1. At least in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian and Methodist calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, which is the Sunday between November 27 and December 3 inclusive


Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.



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