advent is a season that brings to mind the Two Coming of Christ.
Advent is underway.
Most of us have an intuitive understanding of Advent, based on experience, but what do the Church’s official documents actually say about Advent?
Here are some of the basic question and (official!) answers about Advent. (official!)
Some of the answer about Advent.
1.) What Is the Purpose of Advent?
Advent is a season on the Church’s liturgical calendar– specifically, it is as season on the calendar of the Latin Church, which is the largest Church in communion with the pope.
Other Catholic Churches– have their own celebration of advent:
According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar:
Advent has a twofold character: as a season to prepare for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us is remembered: as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and unjoyful expectation [ Norms 39].
We tend to think of Advent only as the season in which we prepare for Christmas, or the First Coming of Christ, but as the General Norms point out, it is important that we also remember it as a celebration in which we look forward to the Second Coming of Christ.
Properly speaking, Advent is a season that brings to mind the Two Coming of Christ.
2. What Liturgical Colors are used in Advent?
Particular days and certain types of celebration can have their own colors (e.g.. red for martyrs, black or white at funerals), but the normal color for Advent is violet. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal provides;
The color violet or purple is used in Advent and Lent. It may also be worn in Offices and masses for the Dead [ 346d].
In many places, there is a notable exception for the Their Sunday of Advent known as Gaudete Sunday:
The color rose may be used, where it is the practice, on Gaudete Sunday ( Third Sunday ( Fourth Sunday of Lent).
3. Is Advent a Penitential Season?
We often think Advent as a penitential season because the liturgical color of Lent, which is a penitential season.
However, in reality, Advent is not a penitential season. Surprise!
According to the Code of Canon Law (No.1250):
The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Although local authorities can establish additional penitential days, this is a complete listing of the penitential days and times of the Latin Church as a whole and Advent is not one of them.
4. When Does Advent Begin and End?
According to the General Norms (No. 40):
Advent begins with Evening Prayer I of the Sunday falling on or closer to 30 November and ends before evening prayer I of Christmas.
The Sunday on or closest to Nov.30 can range between Nov. 27 and Dec.3, depending on the year.
In the case of a Sunday, Evening Prayer I is said on the evening of the preceding day ( Sunday). According to the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours:
Evening prayers, celebrated immediately before Mass, is joined to it in the same way as morning prayer. evening prayer I of solemnities, Sundays may not be celebrated until after Mass of the preceding day or Saturday.
This means that Advent begins on the evening of Saturday falling between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2 ( inclusive), and it ends on the evening of Dec. 24, which holds evening Prayer I of Christmas ( Dec. 25).