During this season, Christians prepare for Jesus’ coming.

Advent, (from Latin adventus, “Coming,” in the Christian church calendar, the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas and preparation for the Second coming of Christ. In Western Churches.

Advent begins on the Sunday nearest to November 30 (St. Andrew’s Day) and is the beginning of the liturgical year. In Eastern churches, the Nativity Feast is a similar period of penance and preparation occurs during the 40 days before Christmas. The date when the season was first observed is uncertain. Bishop Perpetuus of Tours (461-490) established a fast before Christmas that began on November 11 (St. Martin’s Day) and the Council of Tour (567) mentioned an Advent season.

The liturgical meaning of the Advent season referred to the dual “coming” of Jesus – then Roman Catholicism the traditional liturgical color for Advent is violet; while many Protestant denominations have adopted blue or purple. The third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday, is commonly marked by the use of rose-colored vestments and candles.

During the four Sundays of Advent, churches across the Peninsula will be illuminated with Candles as congregations light their Advent wreaths of evergreen, shaped in a perfect circle to symbolize God’s eternity.


Background Note:

Lighting an Advent wreath is a popular tradition that began in Germany. Like other popular Advent customs came to this country in the mid to late 1800s with immigrants.

The Advent wreath celebrates the tension between dark and light as the winter solstice approaches. It serves as a symbol for the tension between the spiritual darkness of sin and the light of salvation, a light that began with the birth of Jesus. “The light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 2:5)

Each week one more candle is lit. The light grows more brightly. The coming of Jesus is getting closer. “For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us throw off the works of darkness and put on the armoire of light” (Romans 13: 11-12)

For the service, the Advent wreath is used as a centering symbol that promotes reconciliation and transformation in preparation for the coming of Jesus. This is a departure from the traditional symbolism of the Advent wreath. Here each candle will be symbolic of one area of a teenager’s life: home, school, parish and within the peer group.

This service can be followed by the sacrament of reconciliation, if so desired

Joy, Peace and Love!
Your Sister in Christ,

Estella Fajardo Pompa


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