Church Seasons / Advent


Advent is a season of four weeks including four Sundays. Advent derives from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." The season proclaims the coming of the Christ-whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, who comes continually in Word and Spirit, and whose return in final victory we anticipate. Each year Advent calls the community of faith to prepare for these comings; historically the season was marked by fasts for preparation. Each Sunday of Advent has its distinctive theme:
  • Christ's coming in final victory (First Sunday),
  • John the Baptist (Second and Third Sundays),
  • and the events immediately preceding the birth of Jesus Christ (Fourth Sunday).
Use purple or blue for paraments, stoles, and banners. Visuals for the season may include an Advent wreath (an evergreen wreath with four purple/blue candles and a central white Christ candle added on Christmas Eve/Day), evergreen wreaths and branches, a Chrismon tree (an evergreen tree covered with white monograms of Christ), and a Jesse tree ( a tree with signs of the ancestors of Christ). Other symbols include trumpets for Isaiah, messianic rose, star of Jacob, and fleur-de-lis.

(used by permission from The United Methodist Book of Worship, 1992) For more information and resources go to the UM website and search for Advent: