The first of the six seasons of the Christian (Church) Year is Advent. Advent means ‘coming’. Therefore, Advent Season prepares us for the Birth of Christ. This is the beginning of the story of Christ. Over the next twelve months, the story of Christ will unfold.
Advent Sunday is the start of the Christian Year and is the Christian New Year’s Day. It falls on the Sunday closest to November 30 (Saint Andrew’s Day). There are four Sundays in Advent.
The first reference to the Advent Season is from the sixth century. Thus, it was one of the last seasons to be added to the Church Year. During Advent we are no longer required to fast as in early times; however, festivities are not encouraged.
The season of Advent is also one of expectation and preparation. It is also solemn because, as sinners, we are preparing for the birth of Christ, the Holy Child, at Christmas. We prepare our hearts as the dwelling for the coming of Christ. Christ’s coming is twofold, both now and at His second coming on the Last Day. We are judged during these comings.
Purple is the official color of the season except during the Third Sunday when rose-colored vestments may be used. Blue is often used in place of purple.
- Length of Season: Four Weeks.
- Date of Season: Variable. Starts on the Sunday closest to November 30.
- Mood of Season: Solemn joy.
- Color of Season: Purple. Blue is often used in place of purple.
- Symbol of Season: Wreath with Lighted Candles.