Advent & Christmas
Here you'll find resources for the Advent and Christmas Season.
And just in case you stopped by here and aren't sure what Advent is . . .
Advent is the beginning of the church year. It starts four Sundays before Christmas, either the first Sunday after Thanksgiving or the first Sunday in December (and sometimes both). The word advent has its roots in the Latin "to come." It's a time to remember Jesus came to earth and He promised to come again.
The Church uses it as a season of preparation, a time to get ready to celebrate Christ's birth in a real and true way. It's four weeks of focusing on Jesus rather than the gifts and the trimmings. Most of us still have parties and buy presents, but celebrating Advent helps take the focus off the secular stuff and put it on the One whose birth we celebrate.
Many people use an advent wreath to help count down the days. It's usually just a simple green wreath with four or five candles placed around it. One for each Sunday of advent and one for Christmas Eve. And here's a little history behind the wreath:
The wreath - is a complete circle. It reminds us of Jesus' complete never-ending love for us. It is green, ever-green. Again reminding us that like the ever-green, Jesus' love never turns away from us.
The candles - You should have one white candle for the center. It should be surrounded by 4 purple or royal blue candles or 3 purple and one pink one. Purple candles are used to remind us of repentance. We need to ask Jesus to forgive our sins and turn away from them. In addition, purple, like royal blue reminds us of royalty. Even though Jesus was born in a stable, He was a king. The pink candle stands for joy and the white candle reminds us that Jesus was perfect. He is God's son, God in the flesh, and He is without sin.
The Light - The light of the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world. In Him there is no darkness and His light will brighten the world if we let it shine through us.
You don't have to have a wreath. You can simply set four candles in a circle in a special place or even light the same single candle for the entire season. Each day read the recommended scriptures and the reading. There is nothing magic about these readings. If you find others you like, use them. Advent is simply a time of preparing the heart. Your method of preparation doesn't have to be fancy or even include a candle, it just needs to include Jesus!