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December 1, 2023: Advent

This Sunday begins the new Christian year. The Christian year begins with the season of Advent. The liturgical colour, like in Lent, is purple signifying this as a penitential season. In recent years the penitential understanding of Advent has too often been ignored. On the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, the colour is rose. Gaudete is the Latin word for “rejoice.” It is a break in the season of penance to that we may always remember the joy ahead (In Lent, we have a corresponding day on the fourth Sunday of Lent called Laetare Sunday). The Advent wreath marks each of the Sundays of the season. Each week a new candle is lit with those of the preceding weeks. On Christmas Eve, the Christ candle is lit for the season of penitence has become the feast of the Incarnation.

Advent is a time of preparation—preparing our hearts and minds to embrace the coming of our Lord. It is a time of penance, devotion, and almsgiving.

Advent is a time of penance. It is a time to consider our life. What habits have we developed that are not God-honoring? How has sin taken residence in us? What have we failed to do in obedience to our Lord? It is a time to take inventory of our spiritual lives—time to repent of our sins and recommit ourselves to live to the glory of God. Penance properly understood embraces the spiritual disciplines.

Advent is a time for devotion. Where penance is a response to sin, devotion is a response to lukewarmness of heart. In every relationship we sometimes find times when ardor wanes. This season calls on us to reflect on our Lord and recover our passion as His people. It is a time to hear His call to love Him, honour, and serve Him with a renewed heart.

Advent is a time for almsgiving. We choose to set aside a special offering in Advent for our foreign missions and ask that all our congregation contribute to this important work. God has given the greatest gift of love, so as His people we too give to others.

We invite everyone to join us in this season of preparation!


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