5 Reasons to Observe Advent
5. You get to start celebrating New Year's early.
Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year. [Liturgical -- from liturgy, which means the forms and functions of public worship.] The dates of Advent vary each year, but it always begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day.
4. Observing can help you slow down and enjoy the season.
If you observe Advent, you have a legitimate reason for slowing down - Christmas-celebrating doesn't start until Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then the 12 days of Christmas begin! The Christmas season ends with Epiphany (January 6), the day when we remember the Wise Men arriving to bring gifts and worship Jesus.
3. Holiday colors other than red and green!
The colors of Advent are purple or blue. You may see these colors in the church vestments (the cloths on the altar or podium), in the stoles worn by the priests, and in the color of the candles on the Advent wreath.
Celebrating Advent with an Advent wreath means candles! Four candles signifying the four weeks of Advent, and a candle in the center (the Christ candle), lit on Christmas Day and Epiphany. Usually the four candles are purple or blue, and pink for the third week - Gaudete Sunday . (Gaudete means "rejoice" in Latin.) The Christ candle is white and is lit on Christmas.
1. Listen, wait, and remember the events leading up to Christmas
Advent's primary message is to wait, listen, get in touch with God, and prepare our lives and hearts for Jesus' coming. Plus, the whole reason for observing the liturgical seasons is that we get to hear Jesus' life story every year, and during Advent, we remember the events leading up to Jesus' birth.