THE TIME OF CHRISTMAS
Begins on the fourth Sunday before December 25th, or the Sunday closet to the Festival of St. Andrew (November 30), and ends with midday prayer on December 24th.
The Savior's birth is second in importance only to His resurrection on Easter Sunday. During the Time of Christmas, Christians reflect on God's great and gracious gift of Himself.
The Church year begins with Advent (from Latin adventus, which means "coming into"), a four-week period of preparation before Christmas. The story of Jesus during Advent is the story of hope coming into the world. When the time was just right, God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world. The Advent teaches us to prepare to receive Jesus, the hope of the World.
In Advent, we wait for our coming King
Isaiah 7:14; 9:16; 11:1-2 | Micah 5:2 | Matthew 1:18-25 | Luke 1:26-38. 46-55
ADVENT PRACTICES AND TRADITIONS
- The color for Advent is blue, which symbolizes anticipation and hope in our coming King. Violet can be used during Advent as a symbol of our repentance in preparation for our coming King.
- We do not sing the Gloria in Excelsis in the Devine Service during Advent. This is the angel's song at Christmas, so during Advent we pass over this tradition Hymn of Praise in silent anticipation.
- It has become common to use an Advent wreath to mark the season. This wreath has four candle-one for each week in Advent, these candles are lit each week, our anticipation mounts as we look to Jesus' coming.
- We gather for midweek services. These services heighten our awareness and anticipation for the celebration of Christ's coming in the flesh.