Advent is the four-week liturgical season that precedes Christmas. The term “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus which means “coming,” and it focuses not only on the past coming of Jesus on the first Christmas; but also on the present coming of Jesus in the gospels, the sacraments, other people, prayer, love, truth, and personal experience; and the future coming of Jesus at the Second or Final Coming at the end of the world.
As we listen to the Advent carols: ‘People Look East’, ‘Come, thou Long Expected Jesus’, and the most famous, ‘O Come, O come Emmanuel’, the music sets us on our journey to Christmas.
Advent stresses hope and joy, Advent emphasizes what we need to add to our lives: grace, light, joy, happiness, even in all the difficulties of our world today. This joyful and wonderful season of expectance and preparation with festivity lasts for four Sundays and 28 days.
The liturgical color violet used for Advent reminds us of the need for penance in our preparation. The color of the third Sunday of Advent is rose. This color symbolizes the joy and happiness we will experience when Jesus comes again. This third Sunday is a day of anticipatory celebration. Together, let us listen to the prophet Isaiah and John the Baptist over these next weeks.