Welcome Christmas friends to my very first post for my
12 Days of Christmas Traditions Series!
I thought it would be perfect to start with a post all about Advent, since many of us are today putting up/out our Advent calendars and candles.
Advent is known as being the the liturgical period preceding Christmas, beginning in Western churches on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and in Eastern churches in mid-November, and observed by many Christians as a season of prayer, fasting, and penitence. (From The Free Dictionary) It is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. (From Wikipedia)
For Christians, the church year begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, the first day of Advent.
It is believed that the tradition of lighting candles to signify the four weeks of Advent was derived from Scandinavian pagan rituals and adopted by the Germanic states during the late Middle Ages. Lighting candles during the Christmas season dates back to pre-Christian Europe, when fire and candle-lighting rituals heralded the return of the sun after the winter solstice. Early Christians kept the traditions but changed their significance--instead of the sun, they heralded the coming of the Son. E-How
An advent wreath includes four, sometime five candles.In the Catholic Church, the three purple candles have come to signify the repentance that must occur before Christ's arrival. A rose-colored candle is lit at on the third week of Advent and signifies the celebration of the mid-point of the preparation. The optional 5th white candle signifies the purity of Christ and is lit on Christmas Day.
Often, Christian churches will use the lighting of the Advent candles to remember an Advent event, such as: waiting for the coming of Christ (prophecies of his birth), preparing for Christ's birth (the angel tells the shepherds and Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem), preparing to worship Christ (the Three Wise Men travel to see the baby) and celebrating Christ's birth (Jesus is born).
Advent candles can mean so many things to so many people. So long as we remember that they stand for Hope, Love, Joy and Peace then they will always be a special part of the Christmas season for everyone!
To finish, I just want to share an email that I'm sure many of you have already seen before. I first posted about it in 2009 at my main blog here:
An Anonymous (email)
WARNING……WARNING: ADVENT VIRUS
Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.
Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:
A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
A loss of interest in judging other people.
A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
A loss of interest in conflict.
A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
Frequent attacks of smiling.
An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
Please send this warning out to all your friends. This virus can and has affected many systems. Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it.
Thanks so much for visiting today, the first day of my
12 Days of Christmas Traditions series!
If you would like to join in today and link up your Advent posts please feel free! No need to link back to me but if you would like to link up to me I would be honoured. I just want to Keep the Christmas Spirit Alive and for us all to share our love of Christmas with each other.
Thanks for linking up! Please come back soon to see what other fun Christmassy posts have been linked up.
Isn't this the most Wonderful Time of the Year!