comes from the Latin word 'adventus' which means
coming. The church's Liturgical cycle begins
with a time of preparation for Christmas, starting
on the fourth Sunday before December 25. Advent
is for us a time of joyous waiting. It is a
triple coming, the humble birth of Jesus in
a stable in Bethlehem, the grace which is still
today given to us by celebrating his liturgy,
and Christ's return in glory on the last day.
The four sundays of Advent are focused on the
third event, while the week immediately before
Christmas concentrates on the other two.
Prayer for the Advent Wreath
our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ,
for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Savior of us all.
O Lord, let your blessing come upon us as we
light the first (purple) candle of this wreath.
May the wreath and its
light be a sign of Christ’s promise of
salvation. May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this in His holy name. Amen.
Reflection - Waiting
light a candle today, a small dim light against
a world that often seems forbidding and dark.
But we light it because we are a people of hope,
a people whose faith is marked by an expectation
that we should always be ready for the coming
of the Master. The joy and anticipation of this
season is captured beautifully in the antiphons
of hope from the monastic liturgies:
See! The ruler
of the earth shall come, the Lord who will take
from us the heavy burden of our exile. The Lord
will come soon, will not delay. The Lord will
make the darkest places bright. We must capture
that urgency today in the small flame of our
candle. We light the candle because we know
that the coming of Christ is tied to our building
of the kingdom. Lighting the flame, feeding
the hungry, comforting the sick, reconciling
the divided, praying for the repentant, greeting
the lonely and forgotten – doing all these
works hastens His coming.