With the third Sunday of Advent approaching, I thought it would be a good time for an article all about Advent, just in case those sharp kids of your start asking questions!advent wreath 3

So here’s a way to explain it to your children.  The Latin may impress your older ones!

Advent comes from the word adventus  which means arrival or coming.  And as with any visitors that come to our house, we prepare – we clean, bake, perhaps we get a present for our guest.  In much the same way, we can prepare for Christ during Advent.  We can clean our souls through Reconciliation, making us more open to God’s grace.  We can “bake” up goodness in our own lives, through extra kindnesses, acts of personal giving, and growing in our love for one another.  We can make ourselves a “present” to Christ through making ourselves more holy and pleasing to Him.

The coming that we are waiting for is celebrated in three ways:  First, we celebrate the coming of the Baby Jesus in a manger so long ago.  We celebrate the coming of Christ in our hearts at Christmastime each year.  And finally, we look forward to the coming of Christ at the end of our time here on earth.

In church, we see lots of purple – purple banners, purple cloths, even the priests wear purple garments.  In our liturgical year, purple is the of anticipation.  And what time of year is more anticipated than Christmas?!

In addition, we see purple in the candles of the Advent wreath, with the exception of the upcoming third Sunday of Advent – Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday.  This Sunday’s candle is pink colored for the joy of this season.  The three purple candles lit each successive week are for hope, faith, and peace.

What are ways that your family prepares for Christmas during Advent?

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