Saturday, October 17, 2009

Advent Paves way to Christmas

Christmas is one of the the season of the the church that outshines all other shines the other seasons with its opulence and majesty. Gaining also with its materialism in the secular world it is hard to not lose site of its ultimate meaning. Enter Advent, the season the church sets aside to help prepare the way for Christ as well as not lose sight of him.

The earliest Advent celebrations can be linked to the the early church right after the 4th century. Advent was not designed originally to combat 20th century secularism and materialism. It was started to help prepare a way for Christ. Advent means 'coming' and is perfect because Christ is coming. It also is now the start of the Catholic Churchs calendar year which makes it perfected because it starts the upcoming year.

This also can be a period of self examination and penance and it has become one of the times of the year that forgiveness is front and center. Similar to what you would do when a house guest is coming, cleaning out the bad and preparing for them, this period functions the same way.

There is also the aide of the Advent wreath that symbolically reminds us of God's Endless Mercy as well as the light, reminding us of Christ's light. Through the centuries, people have decorated their advent wreath with ivy, that adds a reminder for our human spirit; cedar is sometimes used as the branches that make the wreath to remind us of our eternal life. and Holly, a common theme in a modern day advent wreath is there to remind us of the crown of thorns and what Christ would ultimately suffer for us. Bay is also used to remind us of Christ's triumph over sin.

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