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.

A new liturgical year:

Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg

Advent in 2 minutes:

Busted Halo®

But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Mark 13: 32-37

Growing in strength with spiritual exercises in Lent:

Catholic Productions

Called to penance, prayer, and reflection:

The CatholicTV Network

Advent season is different than Christmas season:

The Coming Home Network International

Dear brothers and sisters, let us experience intensely the present in which we already receive the gifts of the Lord, let us live it focused on the future, a future charged with hope. In this manner Christian Advent becomes an opportunity to reawaken within ourselves the true meaning of waiting, returning to the heart of our faith which is the mystery of Christ, the Messiah who was expected for long centuries and was born in poverty, in Bethlehem. In coming among us, He brought us and continues to offer us the gift of his love and his salvation. Present among us, He speaks to us in many ways: in Sacred Scripture, in the liturgical year, in the saints, in the events of daily life, in the whole of the creation whose aspect changes according to whether Christ is behind it or whether He is obscured by the fog of an uncertain origin and an uncertain future.

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, 28 November 2009

Preparing to see God:

Ascension Presents

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

Breaking In The Habit

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

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

Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux

Understanding Advent through Jesus’ three comings:

Bishop Robert Barron

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

Catholic Breakfast

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

The compelling Christian story:

Openlight Media

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