Today is the last Friday of Advent. Advent in itself is a time of prayer, abstinence, and alms-giving. Do most people remember Advent as a holy season? Since Fridays have always been a day of mortification and prayer, it would be special to honour our Lord. Take the time to say a prayer, give to the needy, visit a shut-in, abstain from your favourite treat, or simply skip a meal. Its that simple and it is for a worthy cause.
I second. In fact, I try to abstain from something on every friday, as the Church asks us…
That’s not even a lot, as I know many people abstain from meat on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, aside from those who do it always.
Thanks for the post!
I agree that we are to do some sort of penance every Friday.
I don’t agree that Advent is a time of penance (abstinence, alms-giving) such as Lent. Rather Advent is a time of recognition of Immanuel - God with us always. It is a time to draw ever deeper in our relationship with God through prayer, thanksgiving, and love. That is, of course, what we should be doing ALWAYS and so Advent is more a reminder than specific time thereof.
I appreciate the sentiment of the original post.
However, I humbly disagree with this comment:
Advent is a penitential season. The liturgical color is purple and penance services are held. There is a spirit of anticipation, but controlled anticipation that one should practice in a penitential season. Though our society has little regard for Advent, we as Catholics need to use this time to prepare for the upcoming celebration.
And what you are describing, Meatless, is TRUE traditionalism.
Advent is clearly penitential, hence the restriction on flowers by the altar, instrumental music, no Gloria during Mass, etc. However it is not as penitential as Lent.
But there is another reason to abstain and fast today: it is Ember Friday in Advent.
I have learned a lot about Ember Days this week … for those who don’t know, I suggest you google.
The liturgical color for Lent is purple; for Advent it’s violet. When I was growing up in the '50’s, the emphasis in Lent was on ‘giving up’ something. It was specifically a penitential season for us. In Advent, the focus was on preparation. We did spiritual bouquets, good deeds, confession to prepare our hearts, lit the Advent wreath at dinner every night. Weddings could be celebrated in Advent and there were no fasts as in Lent. Hence the color violet.
The Roman rite has lost it’s way on this fasting issue. In the East they call Advent the “Nativity Fast” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativity_Fast
Shame on us lazy Latins and the Bishops that relaxed our rules. We miss out on a lot of spiritual benefit.
**And some call it the St. Philip’s Fast, as it starts the day after St. Philip’s day, and some call it Advent.
I think the Assyrian/Chaldean name is “Season of Announcement”**
I’m not trying to debate the semantics of which shade the chasuble is. Violet is penitential too.
Advent is penitential. That’s why the hymns are subdued, there are more opportunities for confessions and the liturgical colors are purple (violet). EWTN sums it up here:
I pray you have a peaceful remainder of Advent and a Joyful Christmas.
This is a very common misconception. But the truth is the Advent and Lent have the exact same (exact same) liturgical color, which is violet or purple. A mix of red and blue. It can be more on one side or the other, and it’s fine to use a different shade for Advent and Lent, but its the same color.
Lent is more penitential, but Advent is penitential too. Reduced flowers on the altar, less instrumental music, NO GLORIA even on Sundays – that’s penitential. But less than Lent, e.g. we still sing Alleluia. Gaudete Sunday in Advent has the same idea as Laetare Sunday in Advent – we lessen the penitential character for a Sunday as we approach the coming joyful feast.
I don’t want to derail this into a threat on liturgical colors, but strongly suggest anyone who has been mistakenly taught that Advent and Lent have different colors consult an ordo or view the official books.