Does Advent have a future?

I found this blog entry that describes exactly how I feel about the way that the Advent season is disappearing as it becomes nothing more than the Christmas season for most of society and sometimes for Catholics.

From The Future of Advent:

For all of the talk of a “War on Christmas” over the last several years, the public celebration of Christmas seems to be doing just fine. That’s not to suggest that certain forces haven’t waged a War on Christmas, just that the public celebration of the holiday has proved rather resilient. Almost too resilient, in fact, since in the popular mind, the “Christmas season” begins earlier and earlier each year (despite the fact that the Christmas season really starts on Christmas Day itself).

That is why my friend Fr. John P. Mack, Jr., has said, “If you want to keep Christ in Christmas, keep Advent in Advent.”

Let us prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ during this penitential season.

Dominus vobiscum, Reg.

Very timely, Reg.

I want the holidays and their “lead ins” to be appropriate to the calendar. I am sick of Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving! And I’m not talking about stores, I’m talking about my neighbors! One fellow put his up and lit them the night after Halloween!!!

The stores are much worse, but, I put that down to a bit of greed. When I was last working retail, we were made to put out the Christmas-oriented items (snowmen and such) at the end of August, for pete’s sake!!!

The American Thanksgiving has all but disappeared, I guess there aren’t vast amounts of merchandise to be sold for Thanksgiving. Halloween things get put up right after Labor Day (September for us Yanks), and then it is suddenly Christmas.

Your article is absolutely right, Christmas starts**** on Christmas Day, and actually runs until February 2nd, the Feast of Our Lord’s Baptism. The Twelve Days of Christmas start on Christmas, not before Christmas! Have you noticed the radio stations playing Christmas carols from before Thanksgiving (the buying season starts right after Halloween, remember), but end at 6 pm on Christmas evening?

Advent is a wonderful season, all to itself; a season of waiting and penitence.

Stepping off my soapbox for now; thank you for letting me rant, Reg.

Yes, sadly, it does seem that a lot of people are forgetting what Christmas is all about. I enjoyed the article, and it is so true.

I grew up Catholic and although we never really recognised Advent in our home, we did at school and I remember a beautiful song for advent…‘Light the Advent candle one’…etc.
As a very recent Catholic Revert, this is my first Advent for many, many years, too many to count. I am really looking forward to it. I have two small children, one just finished his first year in a Catholic school. We have now started our own Catholic tradition which I plan to continue each year, of lighting our own Advent candles, and I sing the song (which thankfully I found the words for on the net;)) and hopefully the kids will learn this too and come to enjoy our little tradition.:slight_smile:

I think Christmas is such a wonderful time of year, a time to show everyone a loving and giving spirit, but we as Catholics shouldn’t forget our roots, and this is it…

CHRIST-MAS :smiley:

Praise the good Lord above!

Angel

This is my first Catholic Advent and we’re “doing it up right”! :slight_smile:

I grew up with Advent in a Protestant church and found it to be one of the most beautiful times of the year - second only to Lent and Holy Week. With so many Protestant churches fading out the practice of Advent it was one of the things I most cherished in our “transfer” to a Catholic parish.

I have an advent wreath on my table and we light the candle (soon to be candles) every night. Today we have a craft project for my son and I making the Christ Candle for the center.

I don’t understand this modern preoccupation with trying to eliminate formalities. We actually wait to put up anything about Christmas until after Dec. 17th in our home…because my husband’s birthday is the 17th! :slight_smile: Subsequently this year we will leave our decorations up until The Feast of Our Lord’s Baptism in celebration of the season!

Oh - and Angel’s Eyes…do you have a link or somewhere I could find that Advent song??? I bet my son would love it!!!

:slight_smile: I am sorry, I don’t know how to attach links etc, but I found it by typing into Google; “youtube light the advent candle”. The first one that comes up in sung by school kids, this will help you with the tune of the song.

For the words, I typed again into Google (gotta love google); “words to light the advent candle”, and a yahoo site comes up, select that one and the words are spot on. I change the line that says ‘the colds winters night’ as we live in Australia, I say hot summers night. :smiley:

Let me know if you have trouble and I can PM you the words.

Yeah for Advent, what a most special time of year for us all. :slight_smile:

Blessings to you and your family.
Angels Eyes.

We live in a society that wants instant gratification and aren’t particularily keen on waiting for anything. I think as Catholics we’ve forgotten that Advent is a penitential season and in our secular preparations, spiritual mortification is the last thing on our minds.

If anything, you’d think that Advent would be even more important this year, with all the signs of the End Times so apparent in the socio-political sphere, but then again, so many are unaware and don’t “live” in the reality of the moment.

“Come, Lord Jesus,” the Advent mantra, means that all of Christian history has to live out of a kind of deliberate emptiness, a kind of chosen non-fulfillment. Perfect fullness is always to come, and we do not need to demand it now. This keeps the field of life wide open and especially open to grace and to a future created by God rather than us. This is what it means to be “awake,” as the gospel urges us (Matthew 24:42)!

We can also use other a words for Advent: aware, alive, attentive, alert, awake are all appropriate! Advent is above all else, a call to full consciousness and a forewarning about the high price of consciousness.

I know this is culturally radical, but I don’t like to put up the Christmas tree till Christmas Eve day–and then I like to take it down on the weekend of the feast of the baptism–which is the official close of the Christmas season. This is also how our parish decorates for the season.

I’m the only Catholic in my family and they think this is pretty strange–they think that I don’t get to enjoy the Christmas tree because I put it up so late. But I feel that they don’t really get to enjoy CHRISTMAS because for them it’s over at midnight on December 25. For us Catholics, Christmas is just beginning at Christmas Eve Mass–we’ve got the following octave of feasting and high holy days… and then the season continues on into mid January…isn’t being a Catholic GREAT!!! By the way I feel the same way about Lent/Easter–sure we have 40 days of Lent, but then we have 50 DAYS of Easter…I love the rhythms of the liturgical life–it is so healthy, not only spiritually but I think psychologically as well…

Advent is making a comeback! Everyone seems to be talking about it this year. You have probably heard about or read Bishop Weston’s letter about Advent. If not, you should!
dioslc.org/images/bishop/Waiting%20in%20Joyful%20Hope!.pdf

Celebrating Advent is essential to our celebrations of Christmas. You would not consider skipping Lent would you?

I don’t have a problem with the stores decorating early- we have to shop early after all, if we are going to shop. The stores are selling things which we want to buy before Christmas. If the shopping season starts early, that is fine with me.

In my home we get the tree during the third or fourth week, and we put up lights shortly thereafter. We decorate the tree on Christmas Eve, together. The nativity, likewise, will be on display probably around Gaudete Sunday, but we will not put Jesus in the manger until Christmas.

This season is about preparation, both for Christmas and for the second coming. It is important and beautiful. The mystery and anticipation is exciting for kids.

We should avoid worrying about others who miss the season, and focus on our own celebration. Are we fasting? Praying more?

Here is my shameless plug:
I have been writing a blog about Advent this year. I am sharing my thoughts, and some of the things which I do to keep the season special and focused.
adventtraditions.blogspot.com/
I hope you like it!

Beth Cecilia, I read and enjoyed your blog! I’ve put it in my Favorites. :slight_smile:

Thank you! I will try to keep it up during the season!

You’re wonderful!!! Thank you so much!!! I’ll be taking a closer look after Mass tonight. :slight_smile:

Okay, as a cradle Catholic I always thought I had a good education in the Faith. Well this thread brings up a question:

Christmas ends in early February? For some reason, I was under the impression that Christmas ended in January on the Feast of the Epiphany.

???

Well, the liturgical season of Christmas ends on Sunday January 9th with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The last “Christmas feast” is the Feast of the Presentation on February 2nd, but it is in the liturgical season of Ordinary time.

Ah yes, the nativity scene.
Maybe this is a common practice for some, but I found out about it in a secular magazine 20 or so years ago.
Our creche ‘grows’ through Advent:
1st Sunday of Advent – we set up rocks around the area of the nativity scene.
2nd Sunday – vegetation is placed in and around the scene.
3rd Sunday – animals, a few lambs and a cow, appear.
4th Sunday – People arrive. We have a shepherd, Mary and Joseph, and we also place an empty manger amidst the rocks and greenery.
Christmas eve – After Mass we place Jesus in the manger. We also have an angel on a thread that I struggle to keep flying.
On Christmas eve the three wise men begin their journey around the kitchen and living room.
Epiphany (January 6th) – The three wise men and their camels finally arrive to adore the Lord.

I find it to be a great way to anticipate our Lord’s arrival and Him being revealed to the world.

Glad for your rant-I’m with you on what you said.

But a wee correction is in order about February 2. It’s not the Feast of Our Lord’s Baptism (that has no fixed date). It’s the Feast of His PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE, 40 days after His birth.

If you follow the ‘traditional calendar’, the Christmas Season ends on February 2, because it is 40 days after Our Lord’s birth.

But if you follow the ‘modern calendar’ *, then the Season ends on the Feast of the Epiphany.

I follow the ‘traditional calendar’ myself. Since I live alone, I keep my Nativity scene-a small icon of the Adoration of the Shepherds-up until February 2, which is Candlemas Day. And I pray my ‘private’ Rosary using the Joyful Mysteries every day from the First Sunday of Advent to February 2.

Of course, this is my own personal devotion; it’s not set in stone. Every Catholic has their own way of commemorating the Advent and Christmas season.*

Oops! Another “fifties moment!”

Thanks for the correction. Of course it is the Feast of the Presentation on February 2nd.

Here I am, a cradle Catholic, and I am thinking, “Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the Temple for his Baptism (by sprinkling, of course).” I keep forgetting that Our Lord is one of the total immersion, Old River Brethern folks!

(I’m trying to be funny. Please, no posts condemning to Hell for making a joke!:D)

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