November 27 to December 25, 2011

Advent -Daily Affirmations Check here for affirmations and daily inspiration during the Advent Season

Advent Activities - Check here for information, activities and tools to support celebrating Advent from a Holistic-Body, Mind, Spirit perspective

What does the word Advent mean?

The word advent comes from the Latin word advenire which means coming to or arriving at.

What is Advent?

Advent is celebrated in the Christian Tradition as a time of preparation for Christmas, the celebration of Jesus' birth. During this season some people light candles on an Advent wreath, and participate in weekly study or events in anticipation of the celebration of Christ's birth.

In Unity Churches, the focus is placed on the rebirth of the Christ Presence or awareness within you and the journey to that rebirth or remembrance.

Secular celebrations include following specially designed Advent calendars, or giving of gifts for each day as a countdown to Christmas.

You can also use the season of advent as a time to focus on something you want to work towards or to look forward to.

When does Advent begin and end?

Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas, usually on the last Sunday of November or the first Sunday of December.

What is an Advent wreath?

An Advent wreath is a series of five candles. In many arrangements four of the candles are in a circle and the fifth candle, called the Christ candle, sits in the center of the circle. Three of the four candles are purple, symbolizing Jesus royalty. Blue candles, symbolizing hope, are sometimes used rather than purple ones. The remaining candle is pink, representing joy. It is lit on the third Sunday because it is the mid-point of Advent. The Christ candle is always white.

Each Sunday in Advent, one candle is lit as well as the candle(s) that were lit on the previous Advent Sundays. In other words, on the first Sunday one candle is lit; on the second Sunday two candles are lit, and so forth. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Christ candle is lit along with the other four candles. The candles symbolize the various themes of Advent and give visual evidence of the coming of Christmas.

Why aren't the colors for Advent red and green?

Red and green are the colors associated with the secular celebration of Christmas. The colors of Advent are purple or blue. Purple symbolizes the royal nature of the Messiah's coming, and blue stand for the hope the Messiah brings to the world. The colors also set aside Advent as a separate season from Christmas. Advent is not Christmas. It is the preparation for Christmas.

What are the 12 days of Christmas?

The earliest Christians celebrated Christ's coming into the world on January 6, the day of Epiphany. But under Roman persecution, the Christians moved the celebration back to December 25. As time passed, Christians recognized the period of twelve days between December 25 and January 6 as the Christmas season.

What is Epiphany?

The day of Epiphany is January 6. It was the original celebration of Jesus' birth. But instead of simply being an anniversary of that occasion, Epiphany dealt with several beginnings. It marked the beginning of Jesus' life, the coming of the wise men. Advent began as a forty-day preparation for the day of Epiphany, but was later transformed to a four-Sunday preparation for Christmas.

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