RE Topic: Advent

4th December 2019
The Advent Candles explained as part of his homily on the First Sunday of Advent – By Fr John

Advent is a time of hope, a time of faith, a time of joy and a time of peace

The first candle, which we lit today, is the candle of hope sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets especially Isaiah who foretold the birth of Christ.

The second candle is the candle of faith it is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.

The third candle, the Rose one, is the candle of joy it is called the “Shepherd’s candle and is rose because rose is the liturgical colour for joy. The third Sunday of Advent is “Gaudete Sunday” and is meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that we have reached the midpoint of Advent.

The fourth candle is called the Angel’s candle and symbolise peace. It reminds us of the message of the angels

“Peace on Earth and Good Will towards all”

Let us pray that this season of Advent may fill us and all peoples with hope, faith, joy and peace.

A word from Deacon Nick.
 
ADVENT

“Happy New Year!”

“What?”

“Happy New Year!”

“How’s that?”

“It’s Advent”

“What’s that got to do with the price of fish?”

It’s the beginning of a new liturgical year in the church. Unusually, we don’t start our new year having a party and making resolutions. We start by preparing for a ‘coming’ (which is what Advent means).

In the four weeks up to Christmas we read scripture that tells us of the promise that a Messiah would come to us and that we should get ready. This, for some might be a bit like Lent and they fast or say extra prayers or do extra things for people worse off than they are. Either way, we should all keep in mind the purpose of the celebration.

In many families, the preparation is for a secular Christmas - parties, new clothes, gifts and loads of food we don’t usually eat. That’s why we need the New Year resolutions after it to straighten out all of the things that have gone haywire over the holiday (often our weight!).

For Christians, ‘Christ Mass’ is the feast remembering the birth of God on earth as a human baby, Jesus. Some people write ‘Xmas’ which seems to dismiss Christ but that abbreviation was originally a cross (+) not an x and the cross foreshadowed how this brand new life was going to end - right from the beginning.

As you and your family prepare to enjoy Christmas, in whatever way you choose to do it, please keep in mind Jesus and his coming to live with us on earth. Remember to thank God for what you have and in all things develop an ‘attitude of gratitude’. Oh and do try to get to at least one church service! Thank you.

Deacon Nick