Advent — the first Roman Catholic holiday of the year.
Advent (from the Latin. adventus — coming) — pre-Christmas period, which are confined to the numerous rites and customs. Advent — the waiting time of Christmas.
Duration of about four weeks of Advent, which includes, as a rule, 4 Sunday, in other words, a full 3 weeks with the addition of 1 to 6 days depending on what day of the week has to Christmas.
During Advent the temples early in the morning served Holy Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary — "rorata." The symbol of this Mass is a lit candle that lights the way going to church before sunrise. That the candle does not go out, it is placed in a special flashlight with transparent windows.
Advent calendar is divided into two stages: the first — the first Sunday before December 16, — which is dedicated to thinking about the future Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the second — with the 17 to December 24 (Novena — nine days predprazdnovaniya Christmas) — which is a direct preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ and is dedicated to the remembrance of the First Coming of Jesus Christ to the world — the Incarnation.
All the Sundays of Advent are equated in importance to the great feasts, and if Sunday of Advent falls on any other holiday, it is postponed to Monday. First Sunday of Advent is the beginning of a new liturgical (church) year.
Every Sunday of Advent is dedicated to a particular witness, which correspond to the Gospel reading during the service: the first Sunday is dedicated to the coming return of Jesus Christ in the end times, the second and the third — John the Baptist, anticipating the public ministry of Christ, the fourth — the events immediately preceding the birth of the Son of God and the special place of the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Incarnation.
First Sunday of Advent
In this light the first day candle in the Advent wreath — the candle of prophecy. It symbolizes the Old Testament prophecies of the coming of the Savior. We celebrate the fulfillment of these prophecies — the coming of the Savior on the ground Baby, His coming into our hearts through faith in the Word of God and His final coming in glory to judge all people.
The famous Advent Calendar for children born more recently, at the end of the last century. It came up with a German Frau Lang for his son to do waiting for Christmas more "interesting."
The most common form of the Advent calendar is opening a box with little windows, the number of days of Advent, containing figurines made of chocolate, which is now available in every store under the name "New Year's set».
Although a far greater joy deliver calendars made with his own hands, and chocolates in the windows should be replaced or verses from the Holy Scriptures, or pictures, or a list of good that would be worth in the day to accomplish. So that the usual form of the calendar is not the only one.
For example, the inhabitants of the Scandinavian countries, with their sense of humor, make the Advent calendar in the form of a pig, without which Christmas dinner is unthinkable.
In a big potato stick matches the number of days Advent, make legs made of sticks, a small tail of swirling chips and muzzle of cardboard with pink heels. And young and old know that in the disappearance of matches from potato Piggy, is rapidly gaining weight and taste of his brother live in a stable.
There is another tradition connected with the period of Advent, which I would like to tell you — it's a staircase. But the unusual. Most often its suit in the Sunday school class. Ideally — a few steps, the corresponding days of Advent.
At the very top of the steps placed the Star of Bethlehem, and at the very bottom — the empty manger with hay. A baby on the steps of the figure of Christ, which day by day, as we approach Christmas, falls on the steps below to December 25 to be in the manger.
Like the Advent calendar this kind of ladder helps kids clearly feel the approach of joyous celebration.