Our Faith in Pictures: Advent
Our homepage photograph features an Advent wreath with the candle for the first week of twinkling brightly. What is the meaning of the Advent wreath? The quote below introduces the symbolism of the wreath and candles; the full article explains the origins of the tradition and how you can incorporate it in your own home.
"[T]he wreath of evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and the new, everlasting life promised to us through Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, who entered our world becoming true man and who was victorious over sin and death through His own passion, death, and resurrection. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. ... The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead." -- Fr. William Saunders, "The History of the Advent Wreath"
Advent is a beautiful season of preparation for the coming of Jesus into the world and into our lives. We remember His incarnation in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago and look forward to His return. Our priests and deacons wear purple, and many Catholics prepare by going to Confession in the weeks leading up to Christmas, which has led to the belief that Advent is a penitential season, but in actuality, it is meant to be a time of joyful preparation.
Looking for Advent and Christmas Confession and Mass times and other events at Saint Andrew? Look no further!
Want ideas on how to make room for Jesus in your home and family this Advent and Christmas? Check out these great online resources:
- Advent 2017 (U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops web page)
- All About Advent (Dynamic Catholic web page)
- Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas (Catholic Education Resource Center article)
Families with Children
- 10 Meaningful Advent Traditions for Catholic Families with Little to No Prep Work! (Catholic Icing blog post)
- Advent Activities for All (Loyola Press web page)
- Family Advent Guide (Our Sunday Visitor webpage)
- Light Up Your Advent with These Advent Wreath Ideas (Peanut Butter and Grace blog post)