Advent is a preparatory season, an adventure of sorts.
Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The word 'Advent' is from the Latin 'Adventus,' which means 'coming.'
We are called to discern and to celebrate a threefold anticipation of God in our lives:
- We prepare to celebrate the anniversary of the incarnate God of love coming into the world in Jesus.
- We prepare ourselves, our souls, for becoming the indwelling of the Holy Spirit more and more.
- And thereby we increasingly prepare ourselves to become worthy of our eternal home; the God of joy and love eagerly awaiting our return.
Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year (in the Western churches), and encompasses the span of time from the fourth Sunday before Christmas, until the Nativity of Our Lord is celebrated. The first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (which is November 30th), and so it will always fall somewhere between November 27th at the earliest and December 3rd at the latest.
While the earliest traditions around the Advent Season were mainly penitential, similar to that of Lent, today we prepare for the coming of our Lord’s anniversary historically, into our lives personally, and of our final destiny with God to come.
During Liturgy, traditional purple vestments are worn, although deep blue/indigo has emerged in recent decades. Purple is the color of discernment and preparation, while indigo is the color of the winter sky at sunrise, and thereby a color signifying Jesus’ life, mission, and legacy rising into our lives historically, personally, and forever more.
In Cursillo-speak, you may wish to contemplate the three-legged stool this Advent season. Feel Jesus coming into your life personally through piety. Ponder the coming anniversary of Jesus in history in your study. Finally, know that Jesus’ legacy will live on forever more through your actions on behalf of others. Indeed, this holy season can be an adventure.
Dn Mick Humbert