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Meanings of Advent
Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks beforeChristmas (or sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!). Advent means 'Coming' in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas, according to Whychristmas.
There are three meanings of 'coming' that Christians describe in Advent. The first, and most thought of, happened about 2000 years ago when Jesus came into the world as a baby to live as a man and die for us. The second can happen now as Jesus wants to come into our lives now. And the third will happen in the future when Jesus comes back to the world as King and Judge, not a baby.
Most modern Advent calendars don’t technically cover the season of Advent
Most Advent calendars start on December 1. But the actual first day of the Advent season changes every year. In 2020, that day is November 29. In 2021, it will be November 28. The final day is the same every year: December 24, Christmas Eve — though many calendars run through Christmas Day.
The reason for the shifting start date is somewhat straightforward. As celebrated by Christian churches in the Western tradition (as opposed to Eastern Orthodox churches, which keep a different calendar), the season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and is celebrated on each successive Sunday leading up to Christmas.
Advent Today - Dates for 2020
Today, the season of Advent lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas. At that time, the new Christian year begins with the twelve-day celebration of Christmastide, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6. Advent begins on Sunday that falls between November 27th and December 3rd each year) Advent 2020 begins on Sunday, November 29th, and ends on Thursday, December 24.
How to celebrate the Advent season?
Some people fast (don't eat anything) during advent to help them concentrate on preparing to celebrate Jesus's coming. In many Orthodox and Eastern Catholics Churches, Advent lasts for 40 days and starts on November 15th and is also called the Nativity Fast. (Advent also starts on November 15th in Celtic Christianity.)
Orthodox Christians often don't eat meat and dairy during Advent, and depending on the day, also olive oil, wine and fish. You can see what days mean now eating what foods on this calendar from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
In medieval and pre-medieval times, in parts of England, there was an early form of Nativity scenes called 'advent images' or a 'vessel cup'. They were a box, often with a glass lid that was covered with a white napkin, that contained two dolls representing Mary and the baby Jesus. The box was decorated with ribbons and flowers (and sometimes apples). They were carried around from door to door. It was thought to be very unlucky if you haven't seen a box before Christmas Eve! People paid the box carriers a halfpenny to see the box.
There are some Christmas Carols that are really Advent Carols! These include 'People Look East', 'Come, thou long expected Jesus', 'Lo! He comes, with clouds descending' and perhaps the most popular Advent song 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel!'.
There are several ways that Advent is counted down but the most common is by a calendar or candle(s).
• Putting up a Christmas tree
• Lighting a Christingle
• Setting up Christmas decorations
A category big enough to sit by itself is music. Music is another way people celebrate Advent Season, singing and playing songs like Nine Lessons and Carols and Handel’s Messiah Oratorio.
Advent Wreath and Candles
The Advent wreath first appeared in Germany in 1839. A Lutheran minister working at a mission for children created a wreath out of the wheel of a cart. He placed twenty small red candles and four large white candles inside the ring. The red candles were lit on weekdays and the four white candles were lit on Sundays, according to Christianity.
Eventually, the Advent wreath was created out of evergreens, symbolizing everlasting life in the midst of winter and death. The circle reminds us of God’s unending love and the eternal life He makes possible. Advent candles are often nestled in the evergreen wreath. Additional decorations, like holly and berries, are sometimes added. Their red color points ahead to Jesus’ sacrifice and death. Pinecones can symbolize the new life that Jesus brings through His resurrection. Families begin lighting a candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and they light another candle each subsequent Sunday.
The most common Advent candle tradition, however, involves four candles. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary. The four candles traditionally represent hope, faith, joy, and peace. Often, the first, second, and fourth candles are purple; the third candle is rose-colored. Sometimes all the candles are red; in other traditions, all four candles are blue or white. Occasionally, a fifth white candle is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
Advent quotes and messages for a season of hope-filled anticipation
Quotes from Inspirational Christians, gathered by Crosswalk
"The Advent season is that time when we seek to, in a manner of speaking, mute our memory of what has already happened, that we might brighten our joy that it happened. We leave the already of His advent to taste the bitter of the not yet. We, in short, go back, that we might look forward to His coming." - R. C. Sproul
"God gives God. That is the gift God always ultimately gives. Because nothing is greater and we have no greater need, God gives God. God gives God, and we only need to slow long enough to unwrap the greatest Gift with our time: time in His Word, time in His presence, time at His feet." - Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment." - Frederick Buechner
“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes - and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger
“At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God's own love and concern." - Mother Teresa, Love: A Fruit Always in Season
“In this day, this season, miracles will grow within, unfurl, bear fruit. And the heart that makes time and space for Him to come will be a glorious place. A place of sheer, radiant defiance in the face of a world careening mad and stressed. Because each day of Advent, we will actively wait. We will wait knowing that the remaking of everything has already begun.” - Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
"Faith is salted and peppered through everything at Christmas. And I love at least one night by the Christmas tree to sing and feel the quiet holiness of that time that's set apart to celebrate love, friendship, and God's gift of the Christ child." - Amy Grant
"The word advent means "expectation." What advent can do for us is create a sense of hope." - Louie Giglio
"The Lord is coming, always coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognize him at any moment of your life. Life is Advent; life is recognizing the coming of the Lord." - Henri Nouwen
"It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope." - Pope Benedict XVI
“Jesus stands at the door knocking (Rev. 3:20). In total reality, he comes in the form of the beggar, of the dissolute human child in ragged clothes, asking for help. He confronts you in every person that you meet. As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbor, as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you, makes demands on you. That is the great seriousness and great blessedness of the Advent message. Christ is standing at the door; he lives in the form of a human being among us.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger
"The very purpose of Christ's coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas." - Billy Graham
Happy Advent days: Messages
Here Are Some Great Ideas And Quotes To Express Your Gratitude To God
Advent is hope, joy, peace, and love. Happy Advent days!
Open up doors for hope because Jesus Christ is coming. Have Holy Advent days.
Waiting is sweet and when the wait is over, we find great happiness. Have prayerful Advent.
The magic of Christmas yet to begin!
Prepare yourself for the big joy with prayers. Holy Advent to all!
Advent is a journey towards Jesus. As we get closer to him, more peace and joy should open up in our lives!
Light a candle for peace on earth at this Advent season.
Prepare your hearts to receive Jesus. A warm heart always welcome Jesus Christ!
Forgive everyone, find peace inside you on this Advent season.
Understand the importance of Advent and prepare yourself to welcome Jesus.
Advent makes our hope strong which do not disappoint you.
Advent makes people new and gives hope for the future however hard the life battle is!
The presence of God you can feel on every day of Advent through Bible reading and prayer.
Jesus is the only reason for the Advent season!
Close your eyes and pray. You will find a new world on Advent days!
Every year Advent comes and brings new hope. Have a happy and Holy Advent.
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