Advent & Christmas

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ADVENT

Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of Christ: preparation to celebrate Jesus’
birth at Christmas, to receive faithfully the risen Christ who comes to us in Word and Spirit, and to await with hope Christ’s coming in final victory. The word Advent comes from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.”

Dates of the Season: Advent is the four weeks, including Sundays, before Christmas Day.

Colors for the Season: The colors are purple or blue. Purple symbolizes both penitence and royalty, blue is the color of hope.

CHRISTMAS SEASON

Christmas Season is the time of celebration, thanksgiving, and praise for God present with us in Jesus Christ. The name comes from the first service of the season, Christ Mass. Christmas Day was first celebrated on December 25 in Rome sometime between 336 and 354 C.E. A pagan winter solstice festival, the birthday of the unconquered sun, was already celebrated on December 25. Christians adopted that date to celebrate the birth of the Son of God. Christians have often adapted and transformed the customs of the world around them.

Dates of the Season: Christmas Season begins with Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and continues through the Day of Epiphany, January 6.

Colors of the Season: White and gold.

EPIPHANY

The word Epiphany is from the Greek word epiphaneia, which means “manifestation.” On the Day of Epiphany, January 6, we celebrate Christ’s being revealed to the world and the visit of the wise men, the first Gentiles to whom he was made known. Scripture doesn’t say how many wise men came to Bethlehem. At various times tradition has set the number from two to twelve. However, because three gifts are mentioned today, we usually think of three wise men or Magi.

Celebration of Epiphany: When January 6 falls on a weekday, churches that do not have services on the 6th may celebrate Epiphany on the following Sunday.

Colors for Epiphany: White and gold.