Advent Week 1

28th November 2021

First Sunday of Advent
 
Advent is a special time when we get ready for the coming of Jesus.
The season of Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas. So in 2021, it started on Sunday 28th November and will continue until Friday 24th December.
 
Christmas celebrates Jesus' birth so the Advent period reminds Christians to remember to prepare for those celebrations.
Why do we have Advent calendars?
 
Many Advent customs involve counting down the days until Christmas begins.
Some churches have an advent wreath with five candles, one for each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day and one for Christmas Day itself.
 
Sometimes Christians will have their own Advent candle which they burn at home.
 
Many people who aren't Christians also look forward to Christmas by having an Advent calendar.
 

Luke 21: 34-36

The gospel story is telling us that we must be ready when Jesus comes again, but that we cannot be exactly sure when that will be, so we must try to be ready all the time.

When we look around, we sometimes see people who need our help.

This Advent, let’s look out especially for people who have been forced to leave everything behind to find somewhere safe to live.

Advent Wreath 
The beginning of Advent is a time for the hanging of the green, decoration of the church with evergreen wreaths, boughs, or trees that help to symbolize the new and everlasting life brought through Jesus.
The Advent wreath is a symbol of the beginning of the Church year. It is a circular evergreen wreath with five candles, four around the wreath and one in the centre.
The circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life.
Candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son. It also reminds us that we are called to be a light to the world as we reflect the light of God's grace to others.
The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.
The colours of the candles vary with different traditions, but there are usually three purple candles, and one pink candle and a white candle in the centre.
 
Each Sunday of Advent one of the candles is lit, a Scripture is read, a short reading is given, and a prayer offered. Each Sunday, the previous candle is relit with the additional one.
The first candle is traditionally the candle of Hope. The anticipation of the birth of Christ.
The second candle is the candle of Peace. Jesus is our peace.
The third candle is the candle of Joy. The angels sang a message of JOY.
The fourth candle is the candle of love. The angles announced the good news of a Savior sent to us by God because He loves us!
“For God so loved the world… (John 3:16-17) The centre candle is white and is called the Christ Candle. It is traditionally lit on Christmas Day and reminds us that Jesus gives light to the world.