Sunday, November 30, 2014

What is Advent?

Advent is the time during which the Church prepares for the coming of Jesus Christ, that is, for His birth as well as for His second coming.

It begins with the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew (November 30), and includes four Sundays, but not always four complete weeks.  These four weeks are symbolical of the four thousand years during which man awaited the coming of the Messiah.

The spirit animating the Church during the season of Advent is of penance and of holy longing.

Of penance, to prepare the way of the Lord in the souls of the faithful.  Of holy longing, to obtain for them the grace of receiving Him worthily.

During Advent, except on feasts, violet vestments are used.  The Te Deum is omitted from the Office of Matins and the Gloria from the Mass.  No flowers are placed on the altar, and the organ is not played, except on feast days, on the third Sunday of Advent, on the Vigil of Christmas, etc.  The solemnizing of marriage during this season is avoided.  We wait for Him.     

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