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


In 2022, Advent, a time of preparation before Christmas, begins on Sunday, November 27. This is the beginning of the new liturgical year A.
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. (Some people make wreaths, see below, or calendars to count down the 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, (ie. extra prayer, works of charity)
* thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, (ie. confession, reconciliation)
* and thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world. 
FREE ADVENT Calendar PDF from the USCCB - https://www.usccb.org/resources/Advent-Calendar-2022.pdf

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Duration and ritual
In the Mass, the 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. 
WREATH Symbolism:
The wreath and candles are full of symbolism associated with the Christmas season. 
*The wreath itself, which is made of various evergreens, signifies “CONTINUOUS LIFE”. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolise the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life we find in Christ. 
*The first candle, which is purple, symbolizes “HOPE”. It is sometimes called the “PROPHECY CANDLE” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah. 
*The second candle, also purple, represents “FAITH”. It is called the “BETHLEHEM CANDLE” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. 
*The third candle is pink and symbolizes “JOY”. It is called the “SHEPARD’S CANDLE” and is pink because rose is a liturgical color for joy. The third Sunday of Advent is called “GAUDETE SUNDAY” and is meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that the faithful have reached the midpoint of Advent. 
*On the fourth week of Advent, we light the final purple candle to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait for the birth of our Savior. This final candle, the “ANGEL’S CANDLE” symbolizes “PEACE”.  It reminds us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.” 
*The white candle is placed in the middle of the wreath and lit on Christmas Eve. This candle is called the “CHRIST CANDLE” and represents the life of Christ. The color white is for “PURITY” because Christ is our sinless, pure Savior.

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

  •  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