ADVENT

December is the month of Advent, but what is Advent? Although in the Latin language the word "advent" means "coming", the most common meaning indicates waiting, that is, the liturgical season that is placed before Christmas. In addition to the fir with silver threads, the crib, the illuminated cave, the songs, the echo of the bagpipes and the gifts that are exchanged, Advent is also characterized by the presence of the calendar, where no girls are shown at the door next to it, but many boxes that begin to be opened by children from 1 December.
The first Advent calendar appeared in Germany in the nineteenth century, when the mother of little Gerhard Lang made one consisting of 24 sweets, some in the shape of stars, fixed on a sheet of cardboard. When Lang became an adult, he opened a printing office and produced what became the Advent calendar, with a colorful image for each day of Advent. In addition to knowing what Advent is, you need to know that curiosities are linked to it.
Not everyone is aware, for example, that during the Second World War, Advent calendars were not marketed because paper had to be saved. On the Sundays of Advent it is forbidden to celebrate funeral masses. As regards the beginning of the liturgical period, there are controversies. It is assumed that the Advent season starts from December 1st, in reality it should coincide with the Sunday closest to November 30th. The priests during the various celebrations change the color of the tunic from time to time. During the first two weeks it is purple and blue, on the third Sunday of Advent it is pink, up to white, in preparation for the birth of Christ.
Advent is therefore the period that precedes Christmas in the Christian liturgy and marks the beginning of a new liturgical year of the Western ecclesiastical year. But often for children it is only the period between them and the day when Santa Claus will arrive.


Two types of traditions are widespread: the Roman Advent and the Ambrosian Advent. Roman Advent, the most popular one, lasts 4 Sundays, the four Sundays preceding Christmas. Every Sunday the Gospel readings have precise characteristics and refer to the coming of the Lord at the end of time (I Sunday), to John the Baptist (II and III Sunday), to the immediate background of the birth of the Lord (IV Sunday).
First of all, therefore, if we want to make children understand the true meaning of Advent and wait for the arrival of Christmas with them, we must explain the religious meaning of this period. In order to teach children that waiting for Christmas is not just about waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. Also, if you are religious, you know that this period should be dedicated to prayer and not to shopping. In fact, in the past this period was very important in fact every Sunday of Advent has its own precise meaning:

First Sunday theme: Be careful, stay awake
symbol: an alarm clock
It is the moment of attention, of being awake. Of waking up from sleep: one cannot be found asleep when the lord arrives. The guiding symbol will be the "alarm clock", a sound, a reminder. During the week we need to have our eyes open, be able to notice the needs of the people around us in order to be ready to respond to them.

Second Sunday theme: Prepare the way, straighten the paths.
symbol: a stone
Our gaze, more attentive and aware, discovers that every day is a journey, studded with many opportunities to say "yes", to be sent, sent. But we can also answer with the stones of "no". The guiding symbol will be a stone.

Third Sunday theme: The earth produces vegetation
symbol: a bulb of narcissus
The journey is long and often tiring. In order not to lose courage, one must look at the goal, hope for it to be reached, and foretaste the joy of arrival.

Fourth Sunday theme: Mom awaits the baby
symbol: the heart
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, our attention is turned to the one who first waited for Jesus: his mother, Mary. In fact, Mary is the central figure of the season of Advent, because no one has ever waited and never will wait for Jesus with greater faith and love. A heart-shaped cookie can be eaten as a sign of fraternal communion or it can be hung on the Christmas tree!
The Advent season is a time of hope and humility. If we meditate on Sacred Scripture, we will see how humility is the indispensable requisite for disposing to welcome and listen to God.
Humility means seeing ourselves as we are, without filters, according to truth. Noting our littleness, we will open ourselves to the greatness of God. Mary is a simple and humble girl and she remains so even after becoming the mother of Jesus. Mary never puts herself in front of Jesus but lets her son spread the word of God to everyone. She falls behind because she understands the importance of her son's mission on earth. She does not cry out, she does not adorn herself with jewels, she does not allow herself to be served by anyone, she stays there like everyone else and listens to those precious words understanding the importance of those divine teachings.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ashley
    Dec 20, 2021 @ 14:23:52

    Nowadays, we lack so many things: poverty, simplicity, honesty. Not just in our material lives but in our spiritual lives! 🙏

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: