The Holy Season of ADVENT
Latin ad-venio, to come to.
This year Advent along with the new year of Grace, begins with Vespers (EPI) on Sat. Nov. 28th and the First Sunday of Advent being Nov. 29th.
During this time the faithful should:
Prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord’s coming into the world as the incarnate God of love. Thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
Thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world.
Thus, Advent has a two-fold character: as a season to prepare for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us is remembered, and as a season when that remembrance directs our minds and heart to await Christ’s second coming at the end of time. Advent thus is a period of devout and joyful expectation. A season of Hope! Advent also still maintains some of its former character as a season of Penance which is part of our awaiting for the return of the Lord.
NORMS for the Season of Advent
The Gloria is not used on any of the Sundays of Advent, but only on a day if a great solemnity would be celebrated during the Advent Season, such as December 8th, Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The use of the organ and other musical instruments and the decorating of the altar with flowers should be done in a moderate manner, as is consonant with the character of the season, without anticipating the full joy of Christmas. [Caeremoniale Episcoporum, 236]
If the celebration of Weddings takes place during this season of advent the same moderation in the wedding ceremony must be observed. [Ordo Celebrandi Matrimonium,32]
The only proper and official color for the season of Advent is VIOLET. [GIRM 346, no. d] Blue vestments, hangings or parchments are NOT AUTHORIZED for use for Advent anywhere in the Roman Rite and are NOT to be used. [ Ordo B- 2] Even if the use of blue has been used or done in the past it should stop. On the 3rd Sunday of Advent which is also known as Gaudete Sunday, Rose color Vestments may be used. [GIRM 346, no. f. ] If not, then Violet color would be used.
The Advent Wreath is a popular symbol of the season and may be placed in the narthex or gathering area, or near the ambo. However, it is not a part of the Liturgy, and the official rite books and the Missal itself makes no provision for its use within the Liturgy itself. However, it may be blest on the First Sunday of Advent using the Blessing from the Book of Blessings [Chapter 47 ] It is to consist of a wreath of greens or mixed greens with 3 violet and one rose candle or 4 violet candles. [blue candles may not be used] These candles do NOT take the place of the regular Altar candles which MUST always be white and undecorated.
Individually and as a community, let us prepare this Advent Season to receive the graces bestowed upon us with the coming of the baby Jesus —Emmanual “God is with us”.