Advent, from Latin adventus arrival, is the period that covers a few weeks preceding Christmas, four in the tradition of the Latin Church. Since the establishment of this liturgical time, by analogy with Lent, by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, Advent represents the period when we mainly prepare for the Parousia, the coming of Christ in glory at the end of the time; and in the last days before Christmas, to remember the Incarnation of Jesus, his bodily birth.
In churches using the Gregorian calendar, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and marks the beginning of the liturgical year. Advent therefore begins, at the earliest, on the 27th. November and, at the latest, on the 3 December and ends on December 24.
The Orthodox Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches observe a period of fasting and penance which is equivalent to Advent, but this term has only recently been used there: this liturgical time of preparation for Christmas is traditionally called the Nativity Fast. . This fast lasts 40 days whereas, in the Latin rite, it is four weeks, and six weeks in the Ambrosian and Mozarabic rites.
In Catholicism, the season of Advent celebrates the triple advent of Christ: his birth in Bethlehem, his coming into the hearts of men at all times, and his return at the end of time. From the beginning of the liturgical year, the triple reference to the past, the present and the future is present.
The Catholic Church no longer observes fasting or abstinence during Advent. The office knows the same rites as Lent, more or less, and a spirit of penance presides over it. The liturgical color is purple but it used to be black. The Sunday of Gaudete (3rd Sunday) is celebrated in pink: we are approaching the Nativity and the white used at Christmas shines even in purple.
Weddings are prohibited there, until Epiphany; this is explained by the fact that originally the feast of the birth of Jesus was celebrated on the 6 January, under the name of Theophany.
Inspired by a tradition from North Germany XVIe century, the Advent wreath was invented in 1839 by the pastor Johann Heinrich Wichern in order to contain the impatience of the children he educated; he then makes a crown of wood, with nineteen small red candles and four large white candles. Every morning a small candle is lit and every Sunday it is a large candle; custom has retained only the great.
The tradition of the advent calendar seems to have its roots in Germany, At XIXe century, when Protestant families customarily put a pious picture commenting on a phrase from the Gospel or an invitation to do a good deed on the wall every morning for twenty-four days, in order to channel impatience children until Christmas Day.
The images become more and more sumptuous from the 1850s and are even sometimes published in the form of triptychs, with shutters to be opened to discover the central design. It was this idea of hidden images that gave rise to the advent calendar. The calendar is then made up of a set of 24 windows that you open each day to discover an image.
The advent calendar usually starts on the 1er and ends on December 24, which does not correspond exactly to the season of Advent, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Some calendars, closer to the original idea, do not always have 24 days, but a number of days varying between 22 and 28 depending on the length of Advent.
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Today Christians begin Advent. It begins on the fourth Sunday with Christmas. This time celebrates the triple advent of Christ: his birth in Bethlehem, his coming into the hearts of men at all times, and his return at the end of time. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #catholic #Christian #avent