Advent is more than a tradition to be observed each Christmas season, Advent is a spiritually rich time to reflect, refocus, and remember the faithfulness of God. It’s a chance to teach our kids about the essentials of our faith and to embrace the truth of Christ’s coming to mankind.
PODCAST LINK: https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/meaning-of-advent-ep53
YouTube LINK: https://youtu.be/xw79Qfdx3k4
Christ has come… Christ is coming… and Christ is going to return.
Based on latin word “Parousia“ and the Greek “Adventus” the meaning of Advent is of the ‘return or coming’ of God to each of us, and to all of us. It’s a moment to consider if we are ‘prepared’ for His return and to celebrate the wonder of His first arrival at Christmas.
The history, symbolism, and richness of this tradition can be overshadowed by the commercial aspects of our modern culture, this idea of Advent offers a unique opportunity for the family of Faith to slow down and look at the truth behind all of the buzz.
Advent Devotional Links:
Focus on the Family https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/holidays/advent-calendars/advent-a-countdown-to-christmas
Here are a few details related to the lighting of the Advent wreath/candles and why we celebrate Advent: (Wikipedia)
The wreath crown is traditionally made of fir tree branches knotted with a red ribbon and decorated with pine cones, holly, laurel, and sometimes mistletoe. It is also an ancient symbol signifying several things; first of all, the crown symbolises victory, in addition to its round form evoking the sun and its return each year. The number four represents, in addition to the four weeks of Advent, the four seasons and the four cardinal virtues, and the green colour is a sign of life and hope. The fir tree is a symbol of strength and laurel a symbol of victory over sin and suffering. The latter two, with the holly, do not lose their leaves, and thus represent the eternity of God. The flames of candles are the representation of the Christmas light approaching and bringing hope and peace, as well as the symbol of the struggle against darkness. For Christians, this crown is also the symbol of Christ the King, the holly recalling the crown of thorns resting on the head of Christ.
The keeping of an Advent wreath is a common practice in homes or churches. The Advent wreath is traditionally placed on a table with four candles or, without candles, on the front door of the house as a welcome sign.
Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas as well as the return of Jesus at the second coming. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming”. The term “Advent” is also used in Eastern Orthodoxy for the 40-day Nativity Fast, which has practices different from those in the West.
Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from three different perspectives. “Since the time of Bernard of Clairvaux (d.1153) Christians have spoken of the three comings of Christ: in the flesh in Bethlehem, in our hearts daily, and in glory at the end of time.” The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (sometimes known as Advent Sunday), the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew’s Day (30 November), in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church, and in the Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian, and Methodist calendars. In the Ambrosian Rite and the Mozarabic Rite of the Catholic Church, Advent begins on the sixth Sunday before Christmas, the Sunday after St. Martin’s Day (11 November).
Practices associated with Advent include keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, praying an Advent daily devotional, erecting a Chrismon tree,lighting a Christingle, as well as other ways of preparing for Christmas, such as setting up Christmas decorations, a custom that is sometimes done liturgically through a hanging of the greens ceremony. The equivalent of Advent in Eastern Christianity is called the Nativity Fast, but it differs in length and observances, and does not begin the liturgical church year as it does in the West. The Eastern Nativity Fast does not use the equivalent parousia in its preparatory services.