Advent, then and now
The church season of Advent began as a time of repentance for Epiphany, which was the second-biggest baptism day in the early church. Fasting was once a part of Advent, as it often still is for Lent.
Advent comes from the Greek word parousia, which was often used to talk about Jesus’ second coming. So Advent is a season of preparation not only for the celebration of Jesus’ earthly birth but for his promised return.
Some Christians celebrate Advent by not putting the baby Jesus into their manger scenes until Christmas morning. This adds to the anticipation that’s a special part of the season.
The Advent wreath was developed a few centuries ago in Germany as a sign of the waiting and hopeful expectation of the return in glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. The wreath, a circle, came to represent the eternal victory over death through Jesus Christ. The evergreens were a sign of the faithfulness of God to God’s people, even in death, and the lighted candles were a reminder of the light of Christ brought into the world.
|Common Lutheran Ideas|
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For more information about Lutheranism, please see the ELCA website