Walk into any store around the holidays and chances are there's some form of an Advent Calendar for sale. There are hundreds of styles to choose from, but what exactly is Advent?
Father Rob Mulderink, associate pastor of Basilica of St. Adalbert, came by to share more about the reason behind the season.
The word “advent” means the arrival of an important person or thing, or “coming.” For Catholics, Advent is the four-week season leading up to Christmas, where they anticipate the coming of Jesus. It’s a time full of reflection, excitement, and hope.
Advent officially begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on December 24. It marks the beginning of the Catholic Church’s calendar year.
As a Christian tradition, the wreath holds the four Advent candles. The candles represent Jesus coming as the light in darkness. One candle is lit each Sunday until all four candles are lit, and sometimes a fifth candle is lit on Christmas. As Christmas draws nearer, each candle brings a little more light into the darkness.
Each of the candles represents an aspect of preparation during the season of Advent:
- Hope: During the first week of Advent, they look forward to Jesus’ coming with hope.
- Peace: During this second week of Advent, they reflect on our lives and work on becoming better-versions-of-ourselves in preparation for Jesus’ coming.
- Joy:During the third week of Advent, they are filled with joy for the near arrival of Jesus on Christmas day.
- Love: During this final week of Advent they rejoice in the endless love that God has for us, which is made apparent in the birth of his Son:
Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids invites the community to join their congregation for a prelude concert and midnight mass live on Fox 17 on Christmas Eve. There is also always Sunday Mass at 10 a.m. live on Fox 17.
To learn more, visit grdiocese.org.