arrival (Latin adventus – advent) – in the Catholic Church, the liturgical time before the Nativity of Christ and the beginning of the liturgical (church) year.
Advent starts in 2022 It falls on the 27th of November.
All Sundays of Advent, which lasts until 24 December, are of the same importance as major holidays. The first Sunday of Advent is considered the beginning of a new liturgical (church) year.
The tradition of preparing for the celebration of Christmas approved At the end of the 4th century, in 380, when the Council of Zaragoza ordered that no day be missed from December 17 to the feast of the Epiphany. In the 6th century, the practice of preparing for Christmas by fasting was common in the West, of varying duration and severity. In some areas it began in mid-November, while in others it was prescribed from the autumnal equinox (the rule has survived in the charters of some monastic orders).
Gradually Advent took shape in the West as a special liturgical time with its own features of worship. By the mature Middle Ages, a certain period of Advent was established in various Western liturgical rites. In Mozarabic and Ambrose rites, it begins on the Sunday closest to 30 November, on the Sunday in mid-November, including six Sundays in Roman Catholic.
In our time, Advent in the Latin liturgy has practically lost its fasting character, except in certain regions, where the traditions of observing certain fasting days, especially Christmas Eve, are preserved.
In the understanding of Western Rite Catholics, Advent is a time of respectful and joyful expectation. This is on the one hand the period of preparation for the celebration of Christmas, and on the other hand, when the souls of believers return at the end of time to anticipation of the Second Coming of Christ.
Each of the Sundays of Advent has a specific theme that finds expression in the gospel reading in the Mass. In Latin liturgy, the first Sunday is dedicated to the future coming of Christ at the end of time, the second and third to John the Baptist, who precede Christ’s public service, and the fourth to events preceding his birth. The special place of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Incarnation.
Like Lent, Advent is seen as a time of increasing repentance.
The Advent Catholic liturgy, which is penitent in tone, accentuated by the use of purple robes, is permeated by a multitude of motifs associated with the expectation of the Nativity of Christ, and the teachings are mainly built on the prophecies of Isaiah. On the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete (“Rejoice!”), Priests wear pink robes, play the organ.
Also on Advent days in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so-called “rorates” morning rites are performed. The main symbol of this mass is a burning candle, which in turn symbolizes the Mother of God.
In every Catholic community, spiritual exercises (remembrances) are performed at Advent. The Catholic must be ready to meet Christ through constant conversion. Believers are encouraged to begin the sacrament of confession. Currently, more priests than usual are confessing in congregations.
During Advent, a Christmas wreath is placed in the Catholic church, which has a round shape and symbolizes the unity of the family – husband and wife, parents and children, communion. Four candles on such a wreath signify four weeks of Advent.
The candle itself is a symbol of Christ and is usually lit every week of Advent in front of the altar. Believers can also make the Christmas wreath at home. From the first Advent, many Catholics begin to decorate their apartments and houses with Christmas symbols – fir branches, decorations and wreaths.
Also in Catholic churches, a manger is installed, reminiscent of the circumstances of the birth of Jesus Christ in poverty. During Advent, there is no statuette of the Baby Jesus in the manger placed there on the feast of the Nativity.
For children, parents prepare a special gift – the main thing is the Christmas calendar, which is a surprise for every day. The calendar has as many closed windows or doors as the number of days before Christmas. The child opens one of the windows every day and finds a small gift inside – a sweet or a toy.
An indispensable attribute of the holiday is the Christmas ladder, a kind of Advent calendar: the number of steps is equal to the waiting period before Christmas. Usually, the Star of Bethlehem is hung on the top step – a symbol of Christmas, and at the bottom – an empty manger with straw. And every day believers go down the stairs the statuette of the Baby Christ, which on December 25 should find in his earthly cradle. True, a shortened version is currently common: four steps – by the number of Advent Sundays.
The material has been prepared based on information from RIA Novosti and open sources.
I’m Harold O’Connor and I work as an author and editor for News Unrolled, a news website dedicated to delivering the latest world events. With my in-depth research skills, passion for news writing, and keen eye for detail, I strive to provide readers with accurate information on current affairs from around the globe.