What is the Advent Season?
The Advent season is the beginning of the liturgical year. It is a season of expectation and anticipation, preparation and contemplation. We long for the coming of the Messiah, the Prince of Peace. It is four weeks of preparing our hearts to receive Jesus our Savior who will bring incredible promise, healing, hope for peace on earth, and joy to the world.
Our Lord first comes to us in human flesh and weakness, wrapped in swaddling clothes, as our redeemer. At the second coming, Christ who came in the flesh comes again; only this time in glory and majesty, to establish a divine kingdom. Between these two visible comings, there is a more hidden coming; that is the coming of Christ that takes place when we invite him to dwell in our hearts, to take hold of our beings as our Lord and Master.
Advent is marked by waiting for all three comings of Christ, as it is a reminder that we should always strive to live in a state of anticipation and readiness. Most particularly, however, we are awed by the mystery of God taking on flesh for the sake of humanity. The liturgical Advent color of violet is the same as that of Lent which indicates both a spirit of penitence and ties the birth of Jesus to his ultimate death and resurrection. How lovely that it is also the color of royalty; the color to welcome a King! Prominent feasts such as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe occur within Advent to heighten our awareness of the coming of our Lord.
At St. Laurence
We see the season as a time of silence, prayer and hope. Although parishioners may begin to feel the expectation and anticipation of Christmas, we start by pausing to contemplate what we hope for and what is to come; the birth of a King who leads us to salvation. Most of us are keenly aware of the pull of the material world; the events, parties, and shopping mania that take place during this time of the year and pull us outside of the true Advent spirit. The Church has given us a great gift in setting aside this time of quiet waiting. Our prayerful participation in the season deepens our faith and negates our need to participate in pre-Christmas craziness.
We encourage ministries to
Gather in prayer in a spirit of eager but penitential waiting and to support activities that foster parish and family togetherness.
Act with a spirit of charity and generosity.
Participate joyfully in Advent feast days.
We encourage our parishioners to
Live joyfully and expectantly without being overtaken by the commercial nature of the season.
Focus on the domestic church through participating in rituals such as the Advent wreath, family prayer, and attending mass as a family.
Set aside time to pray, ponder and take great hope in the redemption that is promised by Jesus the Messiah coming as a newborn babe at Christmas.