Advent is the season
observed in Christian churches as waiting and preparing for
celebrations of the Nativity of Jesus. The word derives from
a Latin term meaning "coming."
Advent in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church refers to the
40-day Nativity Fast during which no meat or dairy is consumed
and, depending on the day, faitful members also avoid
olive oil, wine and fish.
|Advent consists of
of four Sundays and weeks leading up to Christmas.
In medieval England, an early form of Nativity scenes called
'advent images' were carried around
door-to-door and used to solicit donations. The images usually
consisted of two dolls representing Mary and the baby
Jesus in a box decorated with
ribbons and flowers.
Originating in the 19th century, Advent calendars began as chalk lines
on a door marking the days until Christmas. This evolved into paper
calendars made of paper with 24 or 25
little windows. One window is opened each day during Advent revealing a
In recent decades, chocolates or other treats have been inserted
beneath each window, giving sweet incentive to the countdown.
Like the Advent calendars, Advent candles are used to mark the passsage
of time until Christmas. On the first Sunday of Advent the candles with
the days up to Christmas marked on them are lit and burned down to the
next line. The same thing is done each day and then the remaining
candle is burnt on Christmas day.
An Advent Crown is another form of candles used for Advent countdowns.
These are usually found in churches rather than homes. The crown is
usually a wreath of greenery with four candles around its perimet and
one in the middle.
One candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent, two are lit on the
second Sunday and so on.
The first candle
often represents Isaiah and other prophets in the Bible that predicted
the coming of Jesus. The second represents the Bible. The third
represents Mary, the mother of Jesus. And the fourth represents John
the Baptist, who told the people in Israel to get ready for Jesus'
The middle candle is lit on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve,
representing Jesus as the light
of the world.
In many churches, the color purple is used to signify the season of
Advent. On the third Sunday, representing Mary, the color is sometimes
changes to pink or rose.
© 2017 Outrider. All rights reserved.