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The Season of Advent

“O come, O come Emmanuel and ransom

captive Israel”

Mr. Pablo Cuadra

Religion Class

• Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day

your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of
the house had known in what part of the night the thief
was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not
have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also
must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour
you do not expect.
Matthew 24: 42-44
What is Advent?
• A. Advent is one of the
five liturgical seasons of
the Church cycle or year.

• B. The season of Advent

marks the beginning of
the liturgical cycle of the
Roman Catholic Church
and some Reformed
What is the meaning of the word
• A. The word Advent comes
from the Latin word adventus
which means coming.

• B. The word Adventus is the

equivalent of the Greek word
parousia, commonly used in
the letters of Paul to refer to
the Second Coming of Christ.

• Hence, that the season of

Advent has a penitential as
well as a eschatological
When does Advent begin?
• A. The season of Advent
begins four Sundays before
December 25th or Christmas

• B. The earliest Advent can

begin is November 27 and
the latest is December 3.
Advent ends on December
24th before the vigil of

• The Vigil of Christmas begins

at Evening prayer I later that
Did you Know?
• There are always four Sundays in Advent, though not
necessarily four full weeks.
What is the Liturgical Color of
• A. The liturgical color of
Advent is purple.

• The color purple highlights the

penitential character of the
season of Advent.
Did you Know?
• The equivalent of Advent in the
Eastern Catholic Churches is
the Nativity fast also known as
winter or Christmas Lent.

• This penitential season last

forty days in the liturgical year
of the Eastern Catholic
Why do priests wear pink on the
third Sunday of Advent?
• A. The third Sunday of Advent
is known as Gaudete Sunday
or Rejoice Sunday.

• B. Gaudete is the Latin word

that means rejoice. This is why
priests have the option of
wearing pink on this particular

• C. The third Sunday of Advent

indicates that the season of
penance is coming to an end
and soon we will be rejoicing in
the celebration of Christmas.
What is the Spirit of Advent?
• A. Advent is a season of expectation,
preparation and penance.

• B. Advent has a dual character. As a

season of penance it prepares us
spiritually for the celebration of the
Christmas season, in which we Catholics
celebrate and reflect upon the mystery of
the Incarnation of the word of God.
Typically known as the first coming.

• C. Advent also has an eschatological

character filled with a sense of
expectation. Advent is a time to put the
house of the soul in order before the
arrival of the guest of honor Christ Jesus,
who will come unannounced like a thief in
the night in his second coming.

• D. Every time we Catholics recite the

Creed we say, “He will come again in
glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.”
• Thomas J. Talley in The Origins of • According to theologian
the Liturgical Year, sees the Richard P. McBrien, Gregory
beginning of an advent season in the Great, was the real architect
the fourth Canon of the Council of of the Roman advent.
Saragosa in 380. • Pope Gregory fixed the season at
• In 567 the Synod of Tours four weeks and composed
established a December Fast. seasonal prayers and antiphons
• In 581 The council of Macon for this season.
ordered and advent fast for the • The Church in Gaul, France
laity from the feast of St. Martin enriched this season with
(Nov 11) to Christmas. eschatological overtones.
• In the seventh and eighth • The fusion of the Roman and
centuries, lectionaries provided Gallican observances returned to
for six Sundays in Advent. Rome by the 12th Century
What is the Advent wreath?
• The advent wreath is the liturgical
symbol of Advent.

• It is composed of four candles

three purples and one pink. The
color purple is a penitential

• Some advent wreaths have a fifth

candle ( this is most common in
the reformed churches).

• Each Sunday during Advent a

purple candle is lit with the
exception of the third Sunday of
Advent when a pink candle is lit
on Gaudete Sunday or Rejoice
What is the origin of the Advent
• The use of wreath was very
common among the Germanic
peoples even before the advent of
• Wreaths were gathered and fires
lighted as signs of hope in a
coming spring.
• Christians kept these folkloric
traditions alive, and by the 16th
century Catholics and Protestants
throughout Germany used this
symbol to celebrate their advent
hope in Christ, the everlasting
• This symbol and tradition spread
to the entire western Church.
Did you know?
• The circular shape of the Advent wreath represent eternity and
God’s unending mercy.

• The four candles represent in a symbolic way the four thousand

years on longing and waiting that passed between Adam and the
coming of the promised Messiah.

• The first candle recalls the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, The
second candle recalls the Prophets that foretold the coming of the
Messiah, The third candle recalls St. John the Baptist who prepared
the way of the Lord; and the final candle recalls the Theotokos, our
blessed Mother, the virgin Mary who said yes to the plan of God for
Emmanuel, “God with us”.
Did you know?
• Catholics are not the only ones
that celebrate the season of
• Reformed churches like the
Lutherans, Anglicans,
Episcopalians, Presbyterians,
Methodists also celebrate
Advent and the Community of Faith
• Advent is a great time for spiritual
• During this season Catholic
Churches offer penitential services
and Retreats called missions.
• Call your local parish to find out
about your Church’s mission
retreat for Advent.
• Most parishes have special
schedules for confessions and
added masses during this special
season. Check your parish bulletin
for additional information.
• Preachers or retreat directors are
invited to the parish to coordinate
and direct these special Advent
The Domestic Church
• Advent is a great time for
catechesis (instruction) of
children at home.
• This is a great time to
introduce children to the
scriptures and traditions of the
• The Advent wreath is placed
on the dining table and lighted
at meals, with prayers and
scriptures readings preceding
lighting of the candles.
• This is a great opportunity to
involved the entire family in the
customs and prayers of our
The Great O Antiphons and the Liturgy

• “In the last seven days of Advent

(December 17-24), the antiphons
before the Magnificat (in the liturgy
of the hours) are very special.
Each begins with the exclamation
"O" and ends with a plea for the
Messiah to come. As Christmas
approaches the cry becomes
increasingly urgent.”
Dr.Marcellino D’Ambrosio
How to Prepare for Advent
• Re-order your life’s priorities.

• Add more time to your prayer life and take time

away from other activities such as T.V.,
computer games, the internet, shopping.

• Start an Advent tradition with your family. Pray

together as a family, decorate your home with
Advent themes. Use the advent wreath and
prayers before meals.

• Make plans to attend your parish penitential

services and advent retreat. Invite your friends
to come along

• Seek spiritual direction (ask your parish priest if

he can provide with spiritual direction).
• Make regular use of the sacrament of

• Follow the scriptural readings for the season of

Advent, you can find them in your parish

• Make a resolution to learn more about your

Catholic faith.
• “Therefore keep
watch, because you
do not know the day
or the hour.”
Matthew 25:13
• The people that
walked in darkness
have seen a great
on those who lived
in a land as dark as
a light has dawned.
Is. 9:1-2
The End

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