Catholic series: The Season of Advent

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Information about Catholic series: The Season of Advent

Published on January 27, 2009

Author: pablocuadra


The Season of Advent : The Season of Advent Mr. Pablo Cuadra Religion Class “O come, O come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel” Scripture : Scripture Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.  Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24: 42-44 What is Advent? : What is Advent? A. Advent is one of the five liturgical seasons of the Church cycle or year. B. The season of Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical cycle of the Roman Catholic Church and some Reformed churches. What is the meaning of the word Advent? : What is the meaning of the word Advent? A. The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means coming. B. The word Adventus is the equivalent of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in the letters of Paul to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. Hence, that the season of Advent has a penitential as well as a eschatological character. When does Advent begin? : When does Advent begin? A. The season of Advent begins four Sundays before December 25th or Christmas Day. B. The earliest Advent can begin is November 27 and the latest is December 3. Advent ends on December 24th before the vigil of Christmas. The Vigil of Christmas begins at Evening prayer I later that day. Did you Know? : Did you Know? There are always four Sundays in Advent, though not necessarily four full weeks. What is the Liturgical Color of Advent? : What is the Liturgical Color of Advent? A. The liturgical color of Advent is purple. The color purple highlights the penitential character of the season of Advent. Did you Know? : Did you Know? The equivalent of Advent in the Eastern Catholic Churches is the Nativity fast also known as winter or Christmas Lent. This penitential season last forty days in the liturgical year of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Why do priests wear pink on the third Sunday of Advent? : Why do priests wear pink on the third Sunday of Advent? A. The third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday or Rejoice Sunday. B. Gaudete is the Latin word that means rejoice. This is why priests have the option of wearing pink on this particular Sunday. C. The third Sunday of Advent indicates that the season of penance is coming to an end and soon we will be rejoicing in the celebration of Christmas. What is the Spirit of Advent? : What is the Spirit of Advent? A. Advent is a season of expectation, preparation and penance. B. Advent has a dual character. As a season of penance it prepares us spiritually for the celebration of the Christmas season, in which we Catholics celebrate and reflect upon the mystery of the Incarnation of the word of God. Typically known as the first coming. C. Advent also has an eschatological character filled with a sense of expectation. Advent is a time to put the house of the soul in order before the arrival of the guest of honor Christ Jesus, who will come unannounced like a thief in the night in his second coming. D. Every time we Catholics recite the Creed we say, “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” History : History Thomas J. Talley in The Origins of the Liturgical Year, sees the beginning of an advent season in the fourth Canon of the Council of Saragosa in 380. In 567 the Synod of Tours established a December Fast. In 581 The council of Macon ordered and advent fast for the laity from the feast of St. Martin (Nov 11) to Christmas. In the seventh and eighth centuries, lectionaries provided for six Sundays in Advent. According to theologian Richard P. McBrien, Gregory the Great, was the real architect of the Roman advent. Pope Gregory fixed the season at four weeks and composed seasonal prayers and antiphons for this season. The Church in Gaul, France enriched this season with eschatological overtones. The fusion of the Roman and Gallican observances returned to Rome by the 12th Century What is the Advent wreath? : What is the Advent wreath? The advent wreath is the liturgical symbol of Advent. It is composed of four candles three purples and one pink. The color purple is a penitential color. Some advent wreaths have a fifth candle ( this is most common in the reformed churches). Each Sunday during Advent a purple candle is lit with the exception of the third Sunday of Advent when a pink candle is lit on Gaudete Sunday or Rejoice Sunday. What is the origin of the Advent wreath? : What is the origin of the Advent wreath? The use of wreath was very common among the Germanic peoples even before the advent of Christianity. Wreaths were gathered and fires lighted as signs of hope in a coming spring. Christians kept these folkloric traditions alive, and by the 16th century Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany used this symbol to celebrate their advent hope in Christ, the everlasting light. This symbol and tradition spread to the entire western Church. Did you know? : Did you know? The circular shape of the Advent wreath represent eternity and God’s unending mercy. The four candles represent in a symbolic way the four thousand years on longing and waiting that passed between Adam and the coming of the promised Messiah. The first candle recalls the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, The second candle recalls the Prophets that foretold the coming of the Messiah, The third candle recalls St. John the Baptist who prepared the way of the Lord; and the final candle recalls the Theotokos, our blessed Mother, the virgin Mary who said yes to the plan of God for Emmanuel, “God with us”. Did you know? : Did you know? Catholics are not the only ones that celebrate the season of Advent. Reformed churches like the Lutherans, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists also celebrate Advent. Advent and the Community of Faith : Advent and the Community of Faith Advent is a great time for spiritual renewal. During this season Catholic Churches offer penitential services and Retreats called missions. Call your local parish to find out about your Church’s mission retreat for Advent. Most parishes have special schedules for confessions and added masses during this special season. Check your parish bulletin for additional information. Preachers or retreat directors are invited to the parish to coordinate and direct these special Advent retreats. The Domestic Church : The Domestic Church Advent is a great time for catechesis (instruction) of children at home. This is a great time to introduce children to the scriptures and traditions of the church. The Advent wreath is placed on the dining table and lighted at meals, with prayers and scriptures readings preceding lighting of the candles. This is a great opportunity to involved the entire family in the customs and prayers of our faith. The Great O Antiphons and the Liturgy : The Great O Antiphons and the Liturgy “In the last seven days of Advent (December 17-24), the antiphons before the Magnificat (in the liturgy of the hours) are very special.  Each begins with the exclamation "O" and ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes increasingly urgent.” Dr.Marcellino D’Ambrosio How to Prepare for Advent : How to Prepare for Advent Re-order your life’s priorities. Add more time to your prayer life and take time away from other activities such as T.V., computer games, the internet, shopping. Start an Advent tradition with your family. Pray together as a family, decorate your home with Advent themes. Use the advent wreath and prayers before meals. Make plans to attend your parish penitential services and advent retreat. Invite your friends to come along Seek spiritual direction (ask your parish priest if he can provide with spiritual direction). Make regular use of the sacrament of reconciliation. Follow the scriptural readings for the season of Advent, you can find them in your parish bulletin. Make a resolution to learn more about your Catholic faith. Scriptures : Scriptures “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13 Scripture : Scripture The people that walked in darknesshave seen a great light;on those who lived in a land as dark as deatha light has dawned.Is. 9:1-2 The End : The End For more presentations please visit:

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