Advent is known as the holy time in which the Church celebrates the four Sundays before Christmas. Advent is a time of joy for Christians, characterized by the spiritual preparation of the birth of Jesus.
Advent begins on the closest Sunday of November 30 and ends on December 24, becoming the first time of the Christian liturgical year. The duration of Advent varies between twenty-two and twenty-eight days, time dedicated to reflection, penance and prayer in preparation for receiving the Lord Jesus Christ.
The color used in the liturgy of the Church during this time is purple. On the other hand, the biblical readings in the time of Advent are taken from the prophet Isaiah as from the Old Testament signaling the arrival of the Messiah.
According to the Bible, Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, indicating that she would soon give birth to a child, son of God, who would call Jesus, and his kingdom would have no end. That waiting time is characterized as Advent.
Etymologically, the word Advent is of Latin origin “adventum” which means “arrival.”
The Advent wreath emerged in the Middle Ages as a symbol of love and light towards God. The Advent wreath is characterized by being a crown of branches, it can be made of pine or spruce, with four candles, usually 3 are purple and one pink. The first candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent and the remaining ones are lit during the following weeks.
The Advent wreath is full of symbolism:
- Its circular shape represents eternity and its hope color.
- Observe, a red ribbon on the crown, symbolizes the love of God for humanity and the love of the faithful waiting for the birth of Jesus.
- The 4 candles represent the four weeks of Advent and are lit on each Sunday of Advent.