AD’VENT, n. (L. adventus, from advenio, of ad and venio, to come. See Find).
A coming; appropriately the coming of our Savior, and in the calendar, it includes four sabbaths before Christmas, beginning on St. Andrew’s Day, or on the sabbath next before or after it. It is intended as a season of devotion, with reference to the coming of Christ in the flesh, and his second coming to judge the world.
Noah Webster’s First Edition of An American Dictionary of the English Language 1828.
The season of Advent is upon us – a time for preparation and reflection. Through these days leading up to Christmas and through Epiphany, I will be blogging about the different traditions of Advent – hopefully this will make the season more meaningful for you!
Let’s look first at the tradition of the Advent wreath. Initially it is thought that the wreath and its candles was used by pre-Christian Germanic tribes to ask the gods to bring back the sun after the bleak, dark days of early winter. Some have suggested that the four candles represented the four seasons. Christians then adapted the wreath and its candles to represent the different aspects of spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord.
On the first Sunday in Advent the first candle, or prophecy candle, is lit to honor the prophets who foretold the coming birth of the Messiah. Isaiah 9:1 – 6 is one of the most quoted passages foretelling the birth of Christ.
Tomorrow we will look at why Advent is scheduled around St. Andrew’s Day. In the meantime, read Isaiah 9:1 – 6 and prepare for His coming!