The New Handbook of the Christian year: Based on the Revised Common Lectionary
This guide provides resources to support the Divinity School students in their Advent devotional study and liturgy planning.
Advent season serves as a period of spiritual preparation for the coming of Christtmas. advent calls Christians to reflect on bothe the birth of Jesus and on the Second Coming of Christ. In Western Christianity Advent begins on the Sunday closest to November 30, St. Andrew's Day, and lasts till December 24, thereby extending over a period of 22 to 28 days. Many Christians enhance their observance of Advent with an Advent wreath. Although Germany's Lutheran community is credited with popularizing this custom sometime in the nineteenth century, its ultimate origins may lie in the pre-Christian practice of fashioning winter festival decorations from evergreen boughs. Advent wreaths are usually fashioned out greenery and are meant to lie on a flat surface or hang horizontally from the ceiling. Four candles are incorporated into the wreath. Purple candles are often found in wreaths designed for church use, since purple is the liturgical color of the Advent season. Finally, a larger white candle, known as the Christ or Christmas candle, is placed in the center of the wreath or off to one side. The white color of this candle coincides with the liturgical colors for Christmas Day, white or gold. (Encyclopedia of Christmas), Advent Wreath, Advent)
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