Celebrating Advent really for 1st time!

This is the first year I will be Celebrating Advent in the Catholic Church. The term Advent is rather new to me which kinda is scary to think that at my Protestant Church I cant recall the term even being used. At mass this past week there was such a buzz about it. The Church is transforming and I cant help but really feel the meaning of Christmas in the Church. At my old church it was more of the same except come Christmas Day when we really talked about the coming of Jesus. It is sad that I really had to turn to Nativity Story Movie for my kids and myself to get a sense of the whole thing. Believe it or not that movie made me actually really look into Mary and learn more about Joseph that caused me to look into what was being preached and led me to sites like these and programs on EWTN and Father Barrons Word on Fire Site.

Have other denominations dumbed down Christmas and taken the whole meaning out of it? Do they even celebrate the season of Advent?

Does the Catholic Church do anything different than others during it as well? I heard my wife who is a lost Catholic say something about 3 kings day, something totally foreign:shrug: to me as well.

Your wife may be referring to Epiphany.

I love Advent, each week is like a giant stepping stone towards Christmas.

Lights up this weekend in my house as it’s the first Sunday of Advent.

I will have to ask her…

I am very excited this year about the whole think. I have a feeling that this Christmas is going to have a profound impact on me. :gopray2:

The rush of the Christmas shopping season has washed over Advent for many years (like the waves eroding the seashore). People are more concerned with Black Friday than they are for the preparation of the birth of our Savior! The secularization of Christmas over the years hasn’t helped either. Many in society today have gone from the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ to the ‘30 Days of Christmas Shopping,’ to one day of Christmas, and then throw the tree out on the 26th! :frowning:

There are mainline Protestant churches that also celebrate Advent (and of course the Orthodox and the Anglicans). I read a Time magazine article several years ago about the re-discovery of Advent in many Protestant churches, let’s pray for that!

I think Advent is a wonderful season and is best described as a sense of hopeful anticipation as we await the coming of Christ. It is a distint season from Christmas, and you’ll notce that the Gloria will not be sung at mass on Sunday and the liturgical colours will turn to purple. There will also be the advent lighting ceremony every week with the final candle being lit at Midnight Mass.

As the previous poster said, Advent is celebrated in most other denominations: Most Anglicans will mark the beginning of Advent with an Advent Carol Service on Sunday evening and will celbrate it in a similar way to Catholics. The season is also marked fomrally in the Presbyterian and Methodist liturgies.

There’s another thread going on about how people are observing Advent if you want some more ideas. The 3 kings day is Epiphany. I understand in some countries, that’s the day the presents come. I think the Orthodox might do that too.

And Welcome Home!

Be sure to attend the Midnight Mass!

jmoneyideas;8616940]This is the first year I will be Celebrating Advent in the Catholic Church. The term Advent is rather new to me which kinda is scary to think that at my Protestant Church I cant recall the term even being used.

Latin “Adventus” means “arrival”. Our first festival of the lighting of “lights” if you will begins with “hope”. We anticipate by being watchful “advent” for Jesus coming “arrival”, both for those just coming to Christ and those awaiting His second coming in the present, for Catholics both are time for joy. preparing our lives and rejoicing.

The next Advent Sunday readings prepares us in welcoming our Lord into our lives both now and forever more when comes “again”.

What I love about Advent is that it is never a gospel of gloom and doom for the coming of the Lord, but for Catholics advent is a time of hope, preparation, love and rejoicings as we await His coming.

Peace be with you and welcome home:)

Wow I totally enjoyed mass today. Had a great homily and everyone made it through the new translations. Afterwards I spoke with the priest who is new to this church and told him how much I enjoyed the service and that I will be joining the RCIA class next week. The look of joy that came over him made me really know that I did make the right decision in coming into the church. I felt so welcomed and it made me feel good. The advent wreath was so beautiful as well.

I agree here, Gabe, with your comments. And while it isn’t a time of doom and gloom, it is a time of reflection and penitence. Our Gospel reading for today was Mark 11 - the “Palm Sunday” account, and it got me to thinking about my favorite Christmas hymn, “What Child Is This”, notably because of the second verse:
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and *** are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The babe, the son of Mary.

Even in the anticipation that is advent of the coming Christ child is the knowledge of the cross of Good Friday. And still, “hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the son of Mary”.


We had this hymn for our opening hymn:
Savior of the Nations, Come

Savior of the nations, come,
Virgin’s Son, make here Your home!
Marvel now, O heav’n and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Not by human flesh and blood,
By the Spirit of our God,
Was the Word of God made flesh–
Woman’s offspring, pure and fresh.

Here a maid was found with child,
Yet remained a virgin mild.
In her womb this truth was shown:
God was there upon His throne.

Then stepped forth the Lord of all
From His pure and kingly hall;
God of God, yet fully man,
His heroic course began.

God the Father was His source,
Back to God He ran His course.
Into hell His road went down,
Back then to His throne and crown.

For you are the Father’s Son
Who in flesh the vict’ry won.
By Your mighty pow’r make whole
All our ills of flesh and soul.

From the manger newborn light
Shines in glory through the night.
Darkness there no more resides;
In this light faith now abides.

Glory to the Father sing,
Glory to the Son, our king,
Glory to the Spirit be
Now and through eternity. (Lutheran Service Book, 332)

I have the same feelings as you do this year. I was not catholic my entire life either and I do not recall the term Advent used in previous churches. This is my first christmas as a Catholic and all I can say is wow…it’s a totally different experience! And I’m loving it :slight_smile: As far as the three kings go, it is the day that the three kings arrived with gifts for baby Jesus. In some latin cultures this day is celebrated by gifts, dinner and a rosca. It is a beautiful tradition :slight_smile:

I have to agree with you this is so different than what I was used to. I got my Advent Companion book which is full of great blessing for the Advent wreath and even Christmas Tree Blessings. It was free after mass so I grabbed one, a good read. Also for the First Time I am doing some acts of Charity which I can honestly say I never really did. Our Parrish is on of the larger ones in my area and is very active in community so I just was moved to do something. So I agree this is going to be one the best Christmas ever because I feel I will be understanding the true meaning of it.

I spoke to my wife and mother in law and yes this is the day the 3 kings came with gifts for baby Jesus.

Those are beautiful hyms thanks Jon and hn 160 relating to the fullness of time.

The Church divides advent into 4 weeks, marked by 4 candles because 4 according to biblical gematria reveals a cycle of completeness, revealing “The coming of Christ” brings the cycle of times into completeness (fulness).

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,b 5 to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.c 6 As proof that you are children,* God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”d 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

As you know Jon Dec.25th is when the “light”, daylight begins to overtake the “night”, darkness.

What is fascinating is that the advent season brings all of these themes together at once in the fullness of times reveals Jesus “emmanuel” God is with us and the parousia the second “coming” of the Lord in the “here now” but “not yet”.

Our four weeks teach us to hope, repent, penance in the way of charity and love which prepares us to rejoice in his coming.

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”.

Happy advent :slight_smile:

Thanks for the great post, Gabe. May the blessing of this Advent season be with you, as well.


Hi jmoneyideas;

When you have the time read up on the History of the Celebration of Epiphany, it is a very awesome day.


Open Wide the Doors To Christ
by Elizabeth Bookser Barkley

The Feast of Epiphany: The Feast of Lights (Orthodoxy)

The Witness of the Son of God

"JANUARY the 6th is recorded in the annals of the Christian Church as an ancient celebration of an event in the life of Jesus Christ which is considered as the beginning of His official dedication to His Divine Mission in the presence and manifestation of the Triune Christian God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. This celebration is called Epiphany, a combined Greek word which is derived from epi: to and phainein: to show, to show forth, to shine upon; the noun is epiphaneia, meaning appearance, manifestation. This Feast included the Birth of Jesus Christ (that is, the Incarnation of the Logos), His Baptism (that is, His dedication in a human manner), and the appearance of the Father and the Holy Spirit-the first and only united appearance of the true Christian God. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, “filled with the Holy Spirit”, said in anticipation, “whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

catholic.org has great ideas, links and articles on celebrating advent in the parish and in the family home

Advent is awesome… It is truly a great thing to know that God loves us so much! One thing I would say is definitely different is our mass… It is a season of preparation and waiting, also a time to grow in faith, hope, and Love… Every liturgy/ mass is a mini-Nativity where the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity come down from heaven to meet us in the Eucharist… We are definitely blessed to be able to have this season of Advent…

God bless and have a great Advent!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.