Advent of Christ

December 7, 2014 Comments Off on Advent of Christ

Advent: A Time of Preparation

In the Catholic Church, Advent is a period of preparation, extending over four Sundays, before Christmas. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, “to come to,” and refers to the coming of Christ. This refers, first of all, to our celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas; but second, to the coming of Christ in our lives through grace and the Sacrament of Holy Communion; and finally, to His Second Coming at the end of time.
Our preparations, therefore, should have all three comings in mind. We need to prepare our souls to receive Christ worthily.

~ Source: The Season of Advent in the Catholic Church, Scott P. Richert

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Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.

Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
~ Source: Wikipedia

The Nativity Fast is a period of abstinence and penance practiced by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches, in preparation for the Nativity of Christ, (December 25).[1] Like the Western Advent, the Nativity fast prepares Eastern Christians for the celebration of Christmas. However, it differs in two significant respects: The Eastern fast runs for 40 days instead of four (Roman rite) or six weeks (Ambrosian rite) and thematically focuses on proclamation and glorification of the Incarnation of God, whereas the Western Advent focuses on the two comings (or advents) of Jesus Christ: his birth and his Second Coming or Parousia.
~ Source: Wikipedia

The Christian season of Christmas actually begins on Christmas Eve and lasts for twelve days, ending on January 6.  The time before Christmas is Advent, a season of preparation for Christmas. Christians prepare for celebrating the birth of Jesus by remembering the longing of the Jews for a Messiah. In Advent, we’re reminded of how much we ourselves also need a Savior, and we look forward to our Savior’s second coming even as we prepare to celebrate his first coming at Christmas. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming” or “visit.” In the season with this name, we keep in mind both “advents” of Christ, the first in Bethlehem and the second yet to come.

~ Mark D. Roberts

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