10 Interesting Facts about Advent

One of these following facts about Advent might give you much information about what Advent is. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. It has a quasi-penitential theme, and this can be a strong antidote against the consumerism of our nation and time. Advent is also known as a season observed in many Western Christian churches as 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”. To get to know more about this religion, here are some facts about Advent you might know. 

Facts about Advent 1: Season Coming of Christ

Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parosia, 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. 

Facts about Advent 2: Clear References

he first clear references in the Western Church to Advent occur in the Gelasian Sacramentary, which provides Advent Collects, Epistles, and Gospels for the five Sundays preceding Christmas and for the corresponding Wednesdays and Fridays.

Facts about Advent - Advent night
Facts about Advent – Advent night

Facts about Advent 3: Liturgical Colors

The usual liturgical color in Western Christianity for Advent is either purple or blue. The purple color is often used for hanging around the church, the vestments of the clergy, and often also the tabernacle. In Christian denominations, blue representing hope, is an alternative liturgical color for Advent, a custom traced to the usage of the Church of Sweden (Lutheran) and the medieval Sarum Rite in England.

Facts about Advent 4: Music

Many churches also hold special musical events, such as Nine Lessons and Carols and singing of Handel’s Messiah oratorio.

Facts about Advent - Advent wreath
Facts about Advent – Advent wreath

Facts about Advent 5: Five Sundays of Advent

In the seventh century, Advent was celebrated in Spain with five Sundays. The Gelasian Sacramentary also gives liturgical propers for the “five Sundays of Advent”.

Facts about Advent 6: Fasting

From the 4th century the season was kept as a period of fasting as strict as in Lent (commencing in some localities on 11 November; this being the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, the fast became know as “St. Martin’s Lent”.

Facts about Advent - Censing
Facts about Advent – Censing

Facts about Advent 7: Folk Traditions

In England, especially in the northern counties, there was a custom (now extinct) for poor women to carry around the “Advent images”, two dolls dressed to represent Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. A halfpenny coin was expected from every one to whom these were exhibited and bad luck was thought to menace the household not visited by the doll-bearers before Christmas Eve at the latest.

Facts about Advent 8: Advent Wreath

The Advent wreath, found in many Catholic homes, is a rather modern invention. It derives to a 19th century German custom, apparently Lutheran in origin. The practice was soon adopted by Bavarian Catholics and spread all over the world.

Facts about Advent - Lantern
Facts about Advent – Lantern

Facts about Advent 9: Eastern Churches

The Eastern Churches began celebrating celebrating Advent in the eighth century as a time of strict fasting and abstinence–a practice still common Eastern Orthodoxy. This practice also reflects the season’s similarity to Lent. Incidentally, red is the most common liturgical color for Advent in the Eastern churches.

Facts about Advent 10: Liturgical Season

The liturgical season of Advent anticipates Second Advent (Coming) of Christ while also remembering the First Advent (Coming) of Christ at Christmas. Thus, the season generally celebrates the activity of God in history in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. Advent is the parenthesis in which falls all of Christian history.

Facts about Advent - Lighting the candles
Facts about Advent – Lighting the candles

Hope you found those Advent facts really interesting and helpful for your additional reading

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