Continuing with the Christmas Bliss series, and since this is the first Sunday of advent, I feel there is no better way to usher in Christmas then talking about how to celebrate advent.
Advent involves taking time to spiritually prepare for Christ’s coming on Christmas. Even if you have never celebrated Advent before, it’s a wonderful tradition that has a lot to offer the entire family. When you begin focusing on Advent, it’s a special way to prepare for the wondrous Christmas holiday, offering thanks for the birth of Jesus and preparing the heart for this important celebration for Christians. Here is a closer look at how to celebrate advent.
What is Advent?
Advent actually means “coming” or “arrival” and specifically refers to the coming of something that is very important. This time has been set apart by Christians for many years to spend time praying, repenting and anticipating the arrival of Christmas. It’s a special time to reflect on the first coming of Jesus as a baby.
Advent also marks the beginning of a new church year within churches that celebrate Advent. Within Western Christianity, the fourth Sunday before Christmas is designated the beginning of Advent. Advent lasts all the way through Christmas Eve.
Although your church may not observe Advent, you can still observe it yourself at home. In fact, many churches are beginning to see the spiritual significance of this time, focusing on traditional Advent customs and celebrations that truly focus on the spirit of the special season.
The Colors of Advent
It’s important to understand the special colors that are used for Advent. While you often think of colors like white, red, green, gold and silver for Christmas, Advent focuses on very different colors. The colors usually used for Advent include purple (or royal blue) and pink. The purple or royal blue signifies royalty, repentance and seriousness. Pink signifies the special joy of this time. In most cases, Advent observers treat the first, second and fourth Sundays of Advent as the purple days and the third Sunday is a pink Sunday.
While many people spend time focusing on Christmas, Advent is all about preparing for Christmas. Advent involves taking time to spiritually prepare for Christ’s coming on Christmas. Even if you have never celebrated Advent before, it’s a wonderful tradition that has a lot to offer the entire family. When you begin focusing on Advent, it’s a special way to prepare for the wondrous Christmas holiday, offering thanks for the birth of Jesus and preparing the heart for this important celebration for Christians. Here is a closer look at Advent and some wonderful ideas for celebrating this special time.
Understanding the Evergreens and Advent Wreath
When Advent first begins, the hanging of the green occurs, which includes decorating with evergreen trees, wreaths or boughs. This is done to symbolize the everlasting life that Jesus brought when he came to earth.
The Advent wreath has become a very popular symbol of Advent. The wreath is made out of evergreens and includes five candles, which I just mentioned. A white candle is in the center and the other four candles surround it – three purple and one pink. The circle shape of the wreath symbolizes endless mercy and God’s eternity. The candles symbolize God’s light and the outer candles symbolize the time waiting for Christ to be born, as well as the four weeks of waiting included in Advent today.
Advent Scriptures To Read
If you desire to celebrate advent, you can read the following advent scriptures over the next four Sundays.
1st Sunday – Psalms 80: 2-19, Isaiah 63: 16-17, Mark 13:33-37, Isaiah 63:19, 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
2nd Sunday – Psalms 85:9-14, Mark 1:1-8, Isaiah 40:1-11, 2 Peter 3:8-14
3rd Sunday – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, Isaiah 61, John 1:6-28, Luke 1:454
4th Sunday – Psalms 25:4-14, Malachi 3:1-24, Luke 1:57-66
Christmas Day – Psalms 96, Luke 2:-1-14, Isaiah 9:1-6, Titus 2:11-14
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post as I will share with you some fun ways to celebrate advent with your kids.