Since it's a Sunday #2

By 08:00

This week,  I am thinking about Advent. I'm sure a lot of you have advent calendars and are enjoying taking out the chocolate each day and thinking about how we are one step closer to Christmas! It's all very exciting. So, I thought I would do a bit more research into what it's all about.

As you know it's all about waiting it actually literally means 'coming' (from the Latin word Adventus). This year the first Sunday where the first candle will be lit is the 29th November - so advent has been going on before the first of December (the calendars sure didn't mention that - did they!)

Advent is also a period of fasting which is why, eating chocolate every day is actually the complete opposite of what we are supposed to be doing. At this point in time, the church changes it's colours from the usual green, to purple.

This time is also a time of music. Churches hold carol concerts, schools hold school plays and cafes fill their rooms with festive music. Although there are significantly less carollers, every so often you still see them around.

Originally at Advent (in England), poor women would have to carry around the "Advent Images" - two dolls dressed to represent Mary and Jesus. It was expected of people that they would donate a halfpenny coin. Those houses not visited by these women should expect bad luck in the coming year.

Of course there are also Advent candles and wreaths. Every Sunday, a new candle is lit. The first candle is the candle of hope. The second it the candle of Bethlehem (or Prophets). The third Sunday (also called Gaudete Sunday-  and colours change to pink) and so the candle is the candle of joy or of the shepherds. Finally, the fourth candle is known as the Christ candle and it is lit during the Christmas Eve service.

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