On Advent


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On Advent

  1. 1. Welcome!
  2. 2. The Season of Advent Saint Francis of Assisi Church
  3. 3. Father in heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love, and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior, and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen. - Alternative Collect, I Sunday of Advent
  4. 4. Making time Time (chronos) is a human concept. We move through time, occupying no more than one point: Past --- Present --- Future We measure time, we analyze it, we follow it: in the stars, the sun, online (http://time.nist.gov), GPS, even on the radio!
  5. 5. Making time We interact with others, and choose to contact God in our own time, in our own way. To do that we use the months and even the seasons of the year, the weeks in each month, the hours of every day, and even the very minutes and seconds.
  6. 6. Making time holy God, however, is beyond time : His “time” (kairos) is always NOW. And yet through time and history is the presence of the Holy Spirit! (Vatican II, Dei Verbum) And God chooses to speak to us, in this limited, human chronological time. But do we listen?
  7. 7. Making time holy Take a few minutes…and ask yourself and your neighbors: • How can I make my time holy? • How do I make my time holy?
  8. 8. The Liturgical Year exerts “a special sacramental power and influence which strengthens Christian life.” (National Directory for Catechesis, 37A)
  9. 9. The Church, sanctifying the whole year
  10. 10. How the Calendar is Determined  Our calendar is arranged around the two principal feasts of the Church: Christmas (Celebrating the Incarnation) Easter (Celebrating the Resurrection)  All seasons and dates are based on what day of the week Christmas falls on, and the date of Easter Sunday. This is publicly announced each year on the Feast of the Epiphany.
  11. 11.  Start with Christmas (This year, Christmas is on a Friday) then, count back to the previous Sunday. So, for 2009…  IV Sunday in Advent: December 20 III Sunday in Advent (Gaudete Sunday): December 13 II Sunday in Advent: December 6 I Sunday in Advent (The beginning of the Liturgical year): November 29 Advent is LONGEST if Christmas is on a Sunday How to tell when it’s Advent
  12. 12. Advent comes from the Latin adventus, meaning "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ in his Second Advent.
  13. 13. In the Fourth and Fifth Centuries A.D., Advent was a preparation not for Christmas…but for Epiphany. Epiphany was set aside as an opportunity for new Christians to be baptized. Believers spent 40 days examining their hearts and doing penance – just like Lent.
  14. 14. Pope St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) was the real architect of Advent. He fixed the season at four weeks, and composed the seasonal prayers that we are familiar with today.
  15. 15. By the Sixth Century, Christians began linking this season to the coming of Christ. But the "coming" that was celebrated was not the infancy of Jesus, but His Second Coming. In the Middle Ages, though, the Church began using Advent to prepare to celebrate Christ's birth.
  16. 16.  Color for Advent is VIOLET, a “regal” color  On the Advent Wreath: Light one candle for each week of Advent, beginning at Sunday Mass  Three Violet candles, one Rose  The rose candle is lit on the third week as a sign of celebration (Gaudete, Latin for “rejoice!”) since Advent is more than half over  The “wreath” is a circle, which represents God, who is eternal. Evergreens are used for the same symbolic purpose  “First” Readings for the season come from Isaiah: descriptions of the End Times and the Messiah More about Advent
  17. 17. CHRISTMAS: The First Feast  Celebrates the Incarnation (“being made into flesh”) and birth of Jesus  Since the 3rd Century, occurs on December 25  This date was set because the Roman Empire celebrated the winter solstice (“birth” of the sun), so when the Empire became Christian, it celebrated the birth of Jesus on this day  One day feast, with an octave (the feast day itself + seven more days of feasting = eight days). The only other feast with an “octave” is Easter.
  18. 18.  Color in church: White (and usually gold)  Traditional celebration of Christmas occurred at “Midnight Mass,” but earlier vigils now happen  Gospel of Luke: Account of the birth of Jesus  NOTE: Santa Claus is actually associated with St. Nicholas (sant niklaas), whose feast is December 6.  It was “moved” to Christmas for “commercial reasons.” Imagine that! CHRISTMAS: The First Feast
  19. 19.  Starts December 25, not the day after Thanksgiving!  The time after Christmas continues to celebrate the birth of Jesus  One or two weeks (originally “12 days”)  Celebration on New Year’s Day marks the Octave: Mary, the Mother of God (January 1)  Traditionally goes from Christmas to the Feast of Epiphany (usually January 6) CHRISTMAS: The Season
  20. 20.  aka “Three Kings Day”  Celebrates the visit of the Magi (in Matthew)  Traditionally on January 6 (the last day of the “Twelve days of Christmas”)  One day feast  Color in Church: White/Gold  In many countries and in Europe, this day – and not Christmas – is the “gift giving day” (Italy: la Befana) EPIPHANY: The Next Feast
  21. 21.  Celebrates the baptism of the adult Jesus by John in the Jordan River, marking the beginning of Christ’s public ministry  The Sunday after Epiphany, and a one day feast  Color in Church: White/Gold  Officially ends the Christmas season  The First Week of Ordinary Time (I) begins on the following day Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
  22. 22. Where are the Themes?  Songs – Music  Light – Darkness  Color – Purple (blue), Pink (white)  Symbols  Rituals  Special Biblical Stories  Special Prayers  All are inter-related to nurture spiritual understanding, meaning, depth, engagement and for on-going conversion.
  23. 23. The season of Advent has a twofold character. It is a time of preparation for Christ when the first coming of God’s Son to men is recalled. It is also a season when minds are directed by this memorial to Christ's second coming at the end of time. It us thus a SEASON OF JOYFUL EXPECTATION. (General Norms for the Liturgical Year, 39)
  24. 24. How are Christians to enter into the Season of Advent?
  25. 25. Advent Spirituality: Renewal History (past) --Present (today) --Future (destiny w/God)
  26. 26. Theological “Advents” of Christ  All sorts of “comings” in scripture Annunciation Wedding at Cana Road to Emmaus  People are transformed as Jesus is revealed to them and to all in a new way  These are called “little advents” of Christ!
  27. 27. Think about your own “little advents” How does Christ come to you in your life, as you know it right now?
  28. 28. All sacraments are visible outward signs of the presence of Christ working in our community.
  29. 29. Non-liturgical advents take place in the kindness of strangers, the generosity of friends, or the support of loved ones.
  30. 30. “Advent means that every person and every Christian is and should be an advent person - not just in this part of the church year, but also in his or her entire life…
  31. 31. “This means being a person who cooperatively enacts the one and final movement of the world and history toward God’s arrival in it in freedom, in faith, hope, and love.” (Karl Rahner)
  32. 32. A call to engage one’s vocation, one’s relationships, one’s hope, one’s life in God, in an active presence, a ‘holy waiting’.
  33. 33. What does “holy waiting” look like in the liturgical life? Your life? Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths.” (Mark 1:3)
  34. 34. Advent can transform the body of Christ into a living, acting, and awaiting society! How?
  35. 35. The challenge of Advent is steering hearts and minds away from the commercialism and secularization of Christmas and into “waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.”
  36. 36. A Coming Christ in Advent: Commentary on the Season of Advent using Fr. Raymond Brown’s bestselling book The Birth of the Messiah Part One: Sunday, December 6 * 6:00 p.m., Parish Hall Part Two: Sunday, December 13 * 6:00 p.m., Parish Hall Part Three: Sunday, December 20 * 6:00 p.m., Parish Hall