Advent: History, Traditions, Dates & wreath

Advent is a liturgical season observed by most Christian faiths, and it is characterized by eager anticipation and preparation for both Christ's birth at Christmas and Christ's Second Coming. Advent is a component of the greater Christmas and holiday seasons in Western Christianity, and it signals the beginning of the liturgical year.


In Eastern Orthodoxy, the 40-day Nativity Fast is known as "Advent," which has traditions that are different from those of the West.
The Greek word parousia was translated with the Latin adventus, which means "coming; arrival." The Second Coming of Christ is referred to by this term in the New Testament. As a consequence, Christ's "coming" is anticipated in three ways by the Christian calendar's Advent season: his actual birth in Bethlehem, his reception in the believer's heart, and his eschatological Second Coming.

Advent: History, Traditions, Dates & wreath

As part of an Advent ritual that also includes maintaining an Advent calendar, lighting an Advent wreath, praying an Advent daily devotional, erecting a Christmas tree or Chrismon tree, lighting a Christingle, and other methods of preparing for Christmas, the custom of hanging greens is occasionally liturgically performed.


Unlike in the West, where the Nativity Fast signals the beginning of the liturgical year, it differs in duration and ceremonies and does not mark the start of Advent. During the Eastern Nativity Fast's preparation ceremonies, the corresponding parousia is not used.


Advent History

The Council of Tours, which was held in 567, established the novel notion of directing monks to fast every day in December until Christmas, which is now known as the Advent season of Christmas preparation. The Nativity Fast or the Advent Season of Repentance was associated with Advent as a season of repentance, and a plausible origin story for Advent is "difficult to claim with certainty.


When Bishop Perpetus ordered three times weekly fasting from St. Gregory of Tours claims that the celebration of Advent comes from the fifth century. November 11th is Martin's birthday, while December 25th is Christmas. As a result, Advent is also known as "St. Lent's Lent." "Martin." This practice was only permitted in the diocese of Tours until the sixth century.


The custom was quickly adopted by the Council of Macon in 581, and from Saint Martin's Day to Christmas, all of France observed three days of fasting every week. In some countries, the most devout worshippers went beyond the council's recommendations and fasted every day of Advent.

The liturgical season of Advent would last four weeks without the practice of a fast, according to Gregory the Great's sermons from the later part of the sixth century. Yet, according to writings from the ninth century, during Charlemagne's reign, the fast was still widely practiced.


The Advent fast was not widely observed, despite Durand of Mende's claim that fasting was still extensively practiced in the thirteenth century. According to the bull of St. Christians of great piety no longer observed this fast with the same passion as Louis did after his canonization.

The solemnity of this apostle has been observed more frequently than that of St. Following that, it was confined to the period between Martin's feast day and Christmas.


When Pope Urban V first took the papal throne in 1362, there was no mention of fasting; instead, he demanded that everyone in his court abstain. Five weeks of Advent were celebrated in Rome prior to Christmas during those days.

Saint. Sacramentary's Sacramentary This is a big topic for Gregory. The Greeks had no real regularity; Advent was a voluntary fast that some individuals began on November 15 and others on December 6 or just a few days before Christmas, according to the Milanese or Ambrosian liturgies.


The Advent liturgy was largely unchanged before the Second Vatican Council, despite a few modest changes to it that highlighted the mood of Advent and emphasized Advent as a season of anticipation for Christ's coming right now as a promise of his Second Coming.


Advent Traditions

Throughout Advent, readings and sermons on the preparation for the Second Coming and the Last Judgment are common.

The earliest explicit allusions to Advent in the Western Church may be found in the Gelasian Sacramentary, which contains Advent Collects, Epistles, and Gospels for the five Sundays leading up to Christmas as well as the corresponding Wednesdays and Fridays.


Traditions differ over the relative importance of repentance and expectation throughout the week preceding Advent, as the Sunday readings talk about both Jesus Christ's first and second advent as a savior and judgment.


Advent Dates

According to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church, the Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches observe Advent on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (usually falling between November 27 and December 3). Advent comes to a close on Christmas Eve, December 24.


On the Sunday following St. Lucy, Advent officially begins in both the Catholic Church's Ambrosian and Mozarabic rites. The sixth Sunday before Christmas (November 11th) is Martin's Day.


Advent wreath

Advent wreaths are kept in churches and homes throughout the season. The Advent wreath was created by German Lutherans in the sixteenth century. But, it wasn't until three centuries later that the contemporary Advent wreath was created.

The current Advent wreath was conceived in 1839 by Johann Hinrich Wichern, a German Protestant priest who worked as a pioneer in urban mission work among the poor.
Each Sunday of Advent, its candles represent. In reaction to the youngsters he taught who were worried about Christmas, he built a wooden ring with 19 little red tapers and 4 big white candles. Every morning, a smaller candle was lit, and on Sundays, a bigger candle. Just the large candles have been kept by Custom.


Fir tree branches are tied into a wreath crown with a red ribbon, which is topped with pine cones, holly, laurel, and occasionally mistletoe. It's also a centuries-old icon with multiple connotations. The crown, for example, denotes victory and the sun's yearly return, as well as its circular form.


The number four represents the four Sundays of Advent, and the green twigs are a symbol of hope and life. Fortitude is symbolized by the fir tree, while victory over sin and suffering is symbolized by the laurel. God's eternities are represented by the holly and the remaining two, which don't lose their leaves.


The approaching Christmas light, which brings peace and hope, is symbolized by candle flames, as is the struggle against darkness. The crown of thorns placed on Christ's head is a symbol of Christ the King, and Christians are reminded of this by the holly.


Candles are used to decorate the third Sunday of Advent, which is known as Gaudete Sunday because of the entrance antiphon's opening phrase, Gaudete, which means "Rejoice." Three purple or violet candles and one pink candle are generally used. The Christ Candle, which is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, is added by some to the wreath's center, along with a fifth candle: a white one.


The first candle represents Adam and Eve's forgiveness, the second represents Abraham and the patriarchs' faith in God's promise of a land, the third represents David's joy as his line continues without end, and the fourth and final candle symbolizes prophetic teaching.

They may alternatively be interpreted as the four phases of human history: creation, incarnation, sin atonement, and ultimate condemnation.


To correspond with the six-week duration of the Nativity Fast/Advent, Orthodox churches place six-candle wreaths on occasion.
The lighting of white candles, a symbol of happiness and purity, is observed on Saint Lucy's Day, which takes place every year on December 13.

Advent FAQS


When did the season of Advent start?


The majority of Advent calendars begin on December 1st. The first day of the Advent season, however, varies each year. On November 29, 2020, that will be the day. It'll be November 28 in 2021.


What are the 4 weeks of Advent?


The four Sundays and weeks leading up to Christmas (or sometimes the 1st of December) are known as Advent. In Latin, the word advent means "coming." This is the moment when Jesus entered the world. Christians prepare and celebrate the true significance of Christmas throughout the four Sundays and weeks of Advent.


What is Advent and why is it celebrated?


These churches celebrate Advent on the four Sundays preceding Christmas Day, which is the start of the spiritual year. It's a spiritual journey of Jesus' Earthly birth, which occurred about 2,000 years ago, as well as a time of preparation and anxiety for Christ's Second Coming.


Final Word

This is why we at Y-combinator decided to share some of the traditions and stories that surround advent. We wanted to make sure you have the full picture before Christmas arrives, so we don't know about it.


There is no clear answer for where the custom of giving gifts on Advent came from if you're wondering. Others claim it began with the generosity of affluent individuals toward those in need.

Others believe it comes from church officials who chose to commemorate Christ's arrival more actively, given that his birth occurred during this season of the year. We are committed to opening hearts and cheerful minds during the Advent season.

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