The Advent/Christmas Season
The Adoration of the Shepherds - by Lebrun, Charles - from Musée du Louvre, Paris
The principal purpose of the Advent/Christmas Season is to remind us of the radical
transformation effected in our human life by the Incarnation of the Word.
By coming into this World to take
upon Himself our Human Nature, God's own Son did not merely become one of us, He
gave us the Power of becoming real Children of God. A New Race, a Holy People,
whom He with His Divine Life, leads to the Heavenly Throne.
We celebrate many wonderful occasions this time of the year. Advent starts the New
Liturgical Year in the Catholic Church. We prepare for the birth of Our Lord Who with His parents Joseph and Mary establish a Holy Family.
The whole Advent Season is a Long Appeal
for the Coming of Our Savior.
The liturgy of Advent was once five weeks long, it now contains only four. It begins on
the first Sunday which occurs closest to November 30, the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle.
In medieval times Advent was much like the Lenten Season,
full of fasting, preparation and penance. Some of this remains today with the practices in the Mass, the purple vestments, silence of
the organ, and the suppression of the Gloria in Excelsius. The Alleluia chant after the Gradual reminds us that Advent is a time of
gladness. The gladness increases as Christmas approaches. On the Third Sunday of Advent, the altar is with flowers, Rose colored
vestments are worn, and the organ playing returns.
Meditations on Advent
by Archbishop Timothy Dolan
Meditations on Advent
by Father Frank Pavone
The Liturgy of the Advent Season brings into prominence
Three (3) Great Figures in Church
history: Isaiah, Saint John the Baptist, and Our Blessed Lady. It brings to mind the waiting for the promise of salvation which God had
given through the Prophets for many Generations. On the first Christmas, the promise was fulfilled.
During the next Four (4) Weeks,
let us prepare with the same joy that must have been present almost 2000 years
ago, as we celebrate the impending Birth of Jesus, Our Lord and Savior.
The Advent Wreath
Many people celebrate Advent by
lighting the candles of an Advent wreath each night and saying a prayer. Unlike
the animated wreath above, Three (3) Purple Candles and One (1) Pink Candle comprise the
As we light these candles let us warm our hearts to welcome little Jesus. Let us spend Advent
prayerfully. Let us slow down our lives and spend quiet time with Jesus, and Mary Our Mother.