The word Advent comes from the Latin word “Adventus” which means arrival or coming. The Advent Season is a season of anticipation, reflection, and hope as we wait for the arrival of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Since the 10th Century, the first Sunday of Advent has marked the beginning of the church year (in the West).
Advent is approximately four weeks long. The first two weeks focus the second coming of Jesus as judge and Lord. The final eight days anticipate His coming in history, Christmas. The 3rd Sunday of advent, named “Gaudete Sunday”, expresses a joyful anticipation in the season. On this Sunday we hear the Epistle to the Philippians, beginning with the 4th verse of Chapter 4: Gaudete in Domino Semper – Rejoice in the Lord always. Even though Advent mainly focuses on our joyful anticipation of our Lord, it does have some somber undertones.
During Advent we are also reminded of the need for acts of penance to serve as punishment for sins and acts of charity to make up for them. So during Advent (like during Lent) we are asked to do good in an attempt to replace the bad, as well as avoiding more bad habits or action in the future. During the Advent Season the color violet is used to express our penance (Church’s color of mourning). This is why in our Advent Wreath we light a purple candle except on the third Sunday, Guadete Sunday, when we light a pink candle as we express our joyful anticipation for the coming of our Lord. Sometimes you will see blue candles used in place of the violet (or purple) candles because blue symbolizes hope. Then on Christmas Day we light the white (symbolizing purity), or Jesus candle.
At the beginning of Advent, not only can we use the Advent Wreath to helps us visualize our anticipation, but we can also set out an empty stable (from a Nativity set) on the first Sunday of Advent. On the second Sunday add the animals. On the third Sunday add Mary & Joseph. On the fourth Sunday add the three kings. Finally, on Christmas Day, add the baby Jesus! The Advent Season is a beautiful season of prayer, anticipation, and celebration. It is a time to slow down and take time off from the chaos of parties, traveling, and shopping. It is a time to focus on what is to come and on the true meaning of Christmas. Experience Advent with your family, parish family, neighbors, and friends.
First Sunday of Advent - Bless Advent Wreath
The Blessing of the Advent Wreath
Christmas Tree Blessing by Patriarch
Christmas Tree Blessing
Children's Advent Tree Project
Advent Wreath Craft - Using child's handprint
Advent True or False Game
Christmas Salt Dough Ornaments
The Christmas Story Advent Coloring Book
Advent Candy Tree and Poem
Advent Wreath Black & White - Color Craft
Jesse Tree Ornaments Coloring Pages
More information on the Jesse Tree
1.You will need to print the picture and the stars on cardstock.
Print Page 1 - Page 2
2. Cut out the stars and picture. They are numbered from 1 - 24.
3. You will need to cut 24 three-quarter strips of paper for the chain (any color) or use a wide piece of ribbon that is long enough to hold 24 stars. Make a chain with 23 of the paper strips.
4. Put the one end of the 24th paper strip through the chain and the other end through the picture. Glue the ends together. Glue the stars on the chain, with Number 1 on the top loop. Put a bow of yarn or ribbon at the top.
Now the children can remove one loop every day during Advent.