Celebrating Advent at the Cathedral
The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit.” Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical year in the Episcopal Church, and the first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle and continues until the birth of Our Lord is celebrated. Excitement surrounds Advent as we Christians anticipate, wait, prepare and decorate for the celebration of Christ's glorious birth, as well as for the time when Christ will come again and fulfill all that was promised to us from Genesis to Revelation!
Some historians believe that it was actually St. Peter himself who first celebrated Advent. However, the oldest documented account is from a passage in the second book of the History of the Franks by St. Gregory of Tours stating that St. Perpetuus, the Bishop of Tours, had decreed a fast three times a week, from the feast of St. Martin until Christmas in the year 480. Today’s Christians would barely recognize early Advent, as it had more of the look and feel of Lent with an emphasis placed on fasting and prayer. As the traditions of Advent evolved, the theme of prayerful, spiritual preparations for the second and final coming of the Lord were blended with the joyful preparations for the annual festive celebrations of the birth of Jesus.
Sunday is the beginning of Advent. Our annual Advent Wreath workshop starts at 9 a.m. in Burwell Court and the Bishop’s Garden. Come and learn the symbolism behind the Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and Christ candles and create your very own Advent wreath to add to your holiday decorations. I will teach a brief liturgical workshop on the season of Advent right after the 11 a.m. service in the sanctuary. You are invited to return to the cathedral for the Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols starting at five o'clock Sunday evening.
May you and your family be truly blessed this Advent season by all the Advent festivities we have planned for you at St. John’s Cathedral. See a calendar in the back of this bulletin for service times and special events.
In Christ’s love,
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