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The True meaning of Advent

Alika meyer, News editor

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Advent is a season during December that many Christians participate in. It is a time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.

Advent is a version of the Latin word “coming” the term is also used in Eastern Orthodoxy for the 40 day Nativity Fast.”

The Latin word adventus is used to refer to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Christians have spoken of three comings of Christ in the flesh in Bethlehem in our hearts daily, and in glory at the end of time. This season is the opportunity to share the coming of the Messiah and to be prepared for his second coming which is on Christmas day. Advent is at the start of the liturgical year and begins on the fourth of December. The liturgical year is also known as the church year. It consists of the cycle of the liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determine when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years. In the church, their distinct liturgical colors may appear in connection with different seasons of the liturgical year.

Every year Advent starts on a different day and commences on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, it’s also the Sunday nearest St. Andrew’s Feast Day. Practices that are linked with Advent include having an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, praying an Advent daily devotional, lighting a Christingle, as well as other ways of preparing for Christmas. Advent correlates with the color violet because Pope Innocent III declared black to be the proper color for Advent, but Saint Pourcain claims violet has a preference over black. The violet color is often used for everything around the church and for the vestments of the clergy. In some Christian cultures, blue is the color for Advent because blue represents hope.

You will see in every church an Advent wreath which was invented in 1839 by Pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern. He created it because of the impatience of the children he thought. He then made a crown of wood with nineteen small red candles and four large candles. Every morning a small candle was lit, and every Sunday a large candle was lit. But then was updated to only the large candles three violet and one pink. The candles symbolize the stages of salvation before the coming of the Messiah. The first candle is the symbol of forgiveness that was granted to Adam and Eve, the second is the symbol of the faith of Abraham and the patriarchs who believed in the gift of the Promised Land. The third symbol was the joy of David who made a covenant with God and the fourth candle is the symbol of the teaching of the prophets who announce a reign of justice and peace. The candles are lit on Sunday and the order for the candles are purple, pink, purple, and purple. These candles are lit on Sunday and stay lit till the next Sunday.              

 

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