While it’s too early to celebrate Christmas (the Christmas
Season begins at sundown December 24th), it’s a perfect time
to celebrate the New Year! With the first Sunday of Advent,
we begin a new Liturgical, or Church, Year.
The word advent means “coming.” During Advent we prepare
for two comings of Christ. We prepare for Christmas and the
celebration of Christ’s incarnation, and we prepare for
Christ’s second coming at the end of time.
Advent begins the eve of the fourth Sunday before Christmas,
always the Sunday closest to the November 30th Feast of
Saint Andrew. Therefore, Advent is not always four weeks
long. It is possible some years that the fourth Sunday of Advent
could be December 24th!
Advent is a time of preparation and waiting. Violet, which expresses penance, sorrow,
and/or waiting is the primary liturgical color during this season. Rose, however, is the
color for the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday. The word gaudete is Latin for
rejoice. The entrance antiphon for Mass the third Sunday of Advent begins with the
words from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” On
this third Sunday of Advent we rejoice in the fact that the Lord is near.
It is only in keeping Advent and not rushing the Christmas Season that we will be
ready for the Lord when he comes!
∗ The circle of evergreens that
make an Advent Wreath is
symbolic of God’s eternal
love for us.
∗ An Advent Wreath has four
candles, usually three violet
and one rose. The rose
candle is lighted the third
Sunday of Advent, GaudeteSunday.