ENTER THE STORY
As we enter this story, we look afresh at the season and reclaim it for its intended purpose. We look past all the holiday buzz, busyness, and materialism. We reclaim this season to celebrate the Good News unleashed on this earth and in our lives. Indeed, a people wandering in darkness have seen a great light, and our Emmanuel (God with us) has come!
We invite you and your family to join us this Advent season as we remember the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. It is a time marked by gratitude, praise, and hope; may we be marked by the hope we have in Christ! When we speak of Christmas, may our faces light up! May our excitement for gifts under the tree and breaks from work or school be overshadowed by our passion to celebrate Jesus. May this be a season for you and your family to focus on the story of the Bible–light has conquered darkness and hope has conquered fear!
HISTORY & TRADITIONS
The origin of the season of Advent can be dated within Christianity to the sixth century AD. This likely makes it the last season of the Christian calendar to be developed. Originally, Advent centered on a 40-day period of preparation for Christ’s coming and was eventually shortened to the four Sundays prior to Christmas.
One common form of celebration is through an Advent Calendar, incorporating individual “windows” that share the story of Jesus. Another common celebration is through the successive lighting of five candles symbolizing the truth that Jesus is the Light of the World who brings hope, peace, joy, and love. Each of the first four candles is lit on one of the Sundays leading up to Christmas; the final candle, the Christ candle, is lit on Christmas morning. Traditionally, in many churches, the Christ candle remains lit until Good Friday, when the Light of the World had His life snuffed out on the cross. It is a great resource for adults and children alike to remember that Jesus has come and is coming again.
POSTURES & SYMBOLS
Prayerful Posture: expectant, hopeful, celebratory, grateful
Colors: blue, gold, white
Symbols: wreaths, candles, trees
Flowers and Greenery: red and white poinsettias, evergreens, holly
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