Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ready, Set, Advent.........

What Is Advent? The word means coming or arrival...it's Latin. Go figure! :) It basically means that God came to Earth as Jesus and as such it changed the world. So it's something we CeLeBraTE and REJOICE!!!! It's a time of Prayer and meditation, contemplation and waiting. Waiting for the day our Savior comes and rejoicing in it.  It always starts on a Sunday. This year it's November 27.

It's a countdown from the first day of Advent to Christmas. One day at a time. Week by week. And each week we light a candle at church before Mass starts. But you can also have one in your home. Advent candle 1 (purple - representing HOPE) is light on November 27th. Then candle 2 (purple - representing LOVE) on December 4. Candle 3 (pink - representing LOVE) on December 11 and the last one on December 18th (Purple - representing PEACE). During the great countdown, we are doing some things to PREPARE for the coming of Christ.

We thank God for the coming of Christ, we celebrate His arrival (Christmas), pray and prepare (through the sacrament of Confession) for Christmas...the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Advent is not a new thing. It's been around since the 4th Century France started by some monks. They used the 6 weeks before Christmas as a penitential and devotional time. Later in Rome began a 3-6 week fast and regularly going to church before Christmas. The way Advent is practiced today came from Pope Gregory I. He set it at 4 weeks long. And he wrote "litu bergical" materials for liturgical use during that time. In the 10th Century saw the special practices and prayers. And finally the liturgical color...purple (the Catholic church has lots of colors for lots of things...but that's another blog). It gained a resurgence  in the 20th Century and the Eastern Orthodox prepare via the Nativity Fast.

So keep your focus on the real PRESENT OF CHRISTMAS--------JESUS......Ready Set Advent.

Here's a link to DIY your own Advent Wreath. http://catholicism.about.com/od/adventactivities/ss/Make_Adv_Wreath_7.htm

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