Is Advent the Christmas Season?


 

I think there is a lot of confusion in what Advent is.  A lot of people (and yes even Catholics) feel and think that Advent is just the start of the Christmas season.  It’s the time to get your shopping on, start listening to your favorite Christmas music, and of course all those holiday parties.  But the Christmas season does not start until after the first Christmas Mass (Christmas Eve Mass) is celebrated and goes on till the “Octave of Epiphany”, which is January 14th.

So, what is Advent then if it’s not the start of the Christmas season?

Advent is the season of preparation.   It is not unlike Lent.  It’s a time to prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord, Jesus.  Originally Advent was 40 days just like Lent but has been shorten to 4 weeks, but still symbolizes the same thing.  It’s a time of preparing our hearts so we are ready to accept God’s ultimate love, His Incarnation.  When you think about it, it’s not a time of running around and being merry.  As we do before Mass, we most evaluate our hearts, thoughts and actions before we confront our Lord and Savior and Advent is that time.

One of the most important parts of Advent is reconciliation.  Most parishes will hold a reconciliation service.  Sometimes the Archdiocese will pick one parish and have several priests available.  This is an incredible gift that has been given to us by our Lord, one that we should look forward to.  It is an amazing experience to enter into Christmas with a clean heart.  It’s hard to be a Scrooge during the Advent and Christmas season after you have experienced the grace of forgiveness with Jesus Christ.

I strongly urge us all to look into our hearts and use this Advent season to remove the heavy chains and weights that have been holding our souls down through out the year; so we can experience the true meaning of Christmas and greet our Lord and Savior with the faith, love and hope of a child.

Blessings in Christ,

RJ

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~ by Polish Jedi on November 17, 2010.

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