Advent 2015

The traditions and celebrations of Christian Advent.

The word advent comes from the Latin, Adventus which means “to come to.” This is a term that is associated with the coming of Christ and is observed with the nativity all over the world. Many of the largest celebrations happen in the U.K., as well as in Italy, when there is literally a whole month of feasts and other events.

To honor the Advent, there are many people all over the world who keep calendars; they also have daily devotionals and other things as well as Christmas decorations. The actual festival and the celebration are known to have come into existence around 480 C.E. and has been a tradition since then. It is a celebration of every day leading up to Christmas. Some people think that the tradition goes all the way back to Saint Peter himself.

Part of the preparations and celebrations of the advent include a preparation for the second coming, which is the end of the world. It is the tradition to teach about this in the western and eastern churches in the weeks that lead up to Christmas.

The Colors of the Advent and Christmas

When it comes to remembering the Advent, the colors that are usually donned are violet or blue. The purple is a symbol of the royal nature of the spirit of God, while the blue is symbolic of hope and the colors of Heaven. In the Catholic Church the colors are always purple and in the Protestant Churches they are blue. The color blue dates to the Catholic and Anglican Churches in the 8th century as well and is called Sarum Blue, or in English Seraphim Blue or Cerulean Blue.

Red and green are seen to decorate houses and are a symbol of many things; they date to the Medieval Times and are something of tradition. The red represents the death of Christ and the green the rebirth. These are the most common colors that you will find in decorations throughout the Christian world.

The Music of the Advent

The music of the advent is very special; it is the tradition of many churches to have musical presentations and also concerts. Many of these concerts include the music of Handel and Bach and are all based on the traditions of the church and inspired by the Vespers and others. During Advent, it is the tradition as well that the Gloria hymn is removed and is replaced with a classic hymn like Haydn.

Fasting for Advent

In 490 C.E. the Bishop Perpetuus of Tours declared that there would be a period of fasting for 56 days on Sundays that was called Saint Martin’s Lent, this was changed by the Church to the period that is known as the Advent. The reason for the fasting is to remember the coming of Christ as well as the future of the second coming. Fasting was believed to increase faith as well as bring about somewhat religious and clarifying experiences for all believers. The Advent is one of the most important times of the year for Christians.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter