Advent is the first liturgical season of the year, when faithful Catholics anticipate the coming of Jesus and prepare for the celebration of his birth on Christmas day.

The word advent means “arrival” and this name of the season indicates waiting, expecting, and preparing.

The Mass readings during Advent include writings from the prophets who foretold the birth of the long-awaited Messiah and the Gospel stories of Jesus’ life on Earth. These lessons from his first arrival remind us that Jesus will also come again at the end of time and they help us to be ready now.

The liturgical color of violet and the modest church decorations in Advent remind us that our joy cannot be fully expressed until Jesus arrives. Even the music is slightly subdued and the Gloria is not sung. 

Advent calendars and Advent wreaths with a candle for each Sunday count down the time until Christmas.

While there are four Sundays of Advent, there are not necessarily four full weeks of the season.

Rose vestments and candles are used on the Third Sunday of Advent, which is called Gaudete Sunday because of the more joyful expectation of that particular Sunday.

Advent in 2 minutes:

Jesus is worth waiting for:

We’re not waiting for a baby in a manger:

When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 524

We wait for the only one who can save us:

Preparing to see God:

Today, the first Sunday of Advent, the Church begins a new Liturgical Year, a new journey of faith that on the one hand commemorates the event of Jesus Christ and, on the other, opens to its ultimate fulfilment. It is precisely in this double perspective that she lives the Season of Advent, looking both to the first coming of the Son of God, when He was born of the Virgin Mary, and to his glorious return, when He will come “to judge the living and the dead”, as we say in the Creed.

– Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, November 28, 2010

A time to focus on the coming, arrival, and presence of Jesus:

How to celebrate Advent and prepare the manger of your soul:

A voice proclaims: In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be lifted up, every mountain and hill made low; The rugged land shall be a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 40: 3-5

This holy season teaches us the Good News of Jesus now:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

A life of contemplation and silence:

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