Advent

Here’s an online advent calendar

Here is something I wrote for our church to describe Advent…

What is Advent?
Advent is a period of four weeks (or part of four weeks) leading up to Christmas, in which we anticipate the coming of Christ.  The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming, arrival”.  There are many ways to celebrate Advent, such as using an Advent calendar and/or an Advent wreath (see below) as we are using in our Worship Services. The purpose of Advent is to help focus our attention upon Christ and His coming and this is increasingly more and more important in our fast-paced consumer culture.  Advent is both about celebration and anticipation.  We celebrate the Incarnation (John 1:14 – “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…”) and we anticipate the Second Coming of Christ our King.  We need both elements to steady us during our “Pilgrim Days”  – reminding us of the Truth of God’s Work amongst us and in us through Christ and the promise to bring about the full consummation of God’s Kingdom.


How can I/my family celebrate Advent?

You and your family can start or continue your own Advent celebration at home.  On the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, we will read a portion of Scripture and light each of the four Advent candles, lighting the fifth and final candle at our Christmas Eve Service.  You can create your own advent wreath (see next paragraph) and/or read the Scripture readings for each day.  In addition, as a family you might try to find out more about Advent (history, meaning of the elements, etc…).  Finally, you might keep a journal of your thoughts and reflections upon Christ, His work in your life, your supplications for yourself and others, which could be read Christmas day or even in years to come.

What do I need for an Advent wreath and what is it’s meaning?
An Advent wreath is made with some type of greens – ivy, holly, bay, etc… and five candles (typically three purple tapers, one rose/pink taper, and a larger white candle).  The different colors and elements represent different spiritual realities, such as the larger white candle representing the Light of Christ or the green of the wreath representing everlasting life.  If you don’t have or can’t find the right elements – get creative!  Make a wreath and use candles from around the house – your wreath does not have to be perfect.  Advent should lead us to focus upon the grace of God as we behold the First Coming of Christ and the awaited Second Coming.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for this, Adam. Growing up, we had an Advent Log…I didn’t know this was the exception to the Advent Wreath “rule” until just a couple years ago.

    Reply

  2. Glad to help. I’ve actually never heard of an advent log!

    Reply

  3. Yup, it was a birch tree log (straight from the UP of Michigan) with candle holders drilled in a straight line. The white candle was in the center.

    Reply

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