What is Advent? 3 Things to Know and SHARE Plus FREE Resources - Happy Advent!

1. ADVENT comes from the Latin ad-venio, meaning to come to.
2. Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and involving four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.
3. With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful are admonished:
* to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
* thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace,
* and thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world. 

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Duration and ritual

In the Massthe Gloria in excelsis is not said. The Alleluia, however, is retained. During this time the solemnization of matrimony Benediction) cannot take place; which prohibition binds to the feast of Epiphany inclusively. The celebrant and sacred ministers use violet vestments.   An exception is made for the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday), on which the vestments may be rose-coloured.   Flowers and relics of Saints are not to be placed on the altars during the Office and Masses of this time, except on the third Sunday. 
FREE ADVENT Calendar to Print from the US Bishops - https://www.usccb.org/resources/Final_Advent_Calendar_2020_1.pdf

Historical origin
The preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was 
not held before the feast itself existed, and of this we find 
no evidence before the end of the fourth century, when, 
according to Duchesne [Christian Worship (London, 1904), 260], 
it was celebrated throughout the whole Church,    
Several synods had made laws about fasting to be observed during this time.

Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent 
(from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") 
is the season encompassing the four Sundays 
(and weekdays) leading up to the 
celebration of Christmas.
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs
 our hearts and minds to 
Christ’s second coming at the end of time and 
also to the anniversary of the Lord’s 
birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, 
from December 17 to December 24, 
focus particularly on our preparation for the 
celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).
Advent devotions including the Advent wreath, remind 
us of the meaning of the season. 
Our Advent calendar above can help you fully enter in to 
the season with daily activity and 
prayer suggestions to prepare you spiritually 
for the birth of Jesus Christ.  

More Advent 
resources are listed in Links below.

Blessing of an Advent Wreath
  • Blessing of a Christmas Tree
  • Commentary on the Proper Prayers of Advent from the Roman Missal
  • Blessing of a Christmas Manger or Nativity Scene
  • Festival of Lessons and Carols
  • Lectio Divina for Advent
  • Liturgical Notes for Advent
  • Parish Resources

  •  About Advent Wreaths
    Traditionally, Advent wreaths are constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent. Ideally, three candles are purple and one is rose, but white candles can also be used. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of his second coming to judge the living and the dead.
    Text Edited from the USCCB