Thursday, 28 November 2013

The Season of Advent

Welcome to the Season of Advent! This weekend, we open the new liturgical year (Year A) and it also starts the holy season, Advent. Advent is a time of preparation and waiting with expectant faith for the celebration of the Birth of our Lord and King, Jesus Christ.
What does this 'preparation' entail? Well, just as how we prepare our homes for the festive season of Christmas by painting, cleaning, putting up new curtains among many other things, this preparation is also similar in that we prepare our Spiritual homes for the coming of Jesus. As such, we should avail ourselves to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Works of Charity and Alms giving and increase our prayer life. One of the most popular ways to increase our prayer lives during this holy season is by including an advent wreath (similar to the one that we see in church) in our homes and follow with the corresponding prayers and the lighting of the various candles. The Advent wreath represents 'eternity' and each candle represents a special virtue which symbolizes our preparedness for the coming of Christ. The Candles are lit in the following order:

  • The First Candle represents the Candle of Hope (Purple)
  • The Second Candle represents the Candle of Preparation (Purple)
  • The Third Candle represents the Candle of Joy (Pink)
  • The Fourth Candle represents the Candle of Love (Purple)
  • The Fifth Candle, which is lit during the Christmas Season, represents Christ as the eternal light of the world. 
Advent is often referred to as a 'Mini Lent' because in both the actual Lenten season and in this Advent season, we are waiting for Christ. In Advent, we are waiting for the Birth of Jesus Christ and in Lent, we are waiting for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and in that waiting, we too must prepare ourselves by entering into a State of Grace.

Let this season of Hope bring us all a deeper appreciation for the season and help remind ourselves that we are in great need of God's grace.

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