Advent derives from the Latin adventus meaning ‘arrival’ or ‘approach’. For thousands of years the world waited for the coming of the Messiah to redeem and to save the human race, restoring mankind’s relationship to God. We, too, experience this same longing for the coming of Christ. Spiritually, we long for the coming of Christ into our hearts as the Holy Spirit draws us into ever deepening relationship with Him; we also long for Christ in his Second Coming, when He will return physically to earth—as He promised—to restore all things to Himself.
Advent is the liturgical season we celebrate as the precursor to the Christmas season. Don’t skip it! It’s there for a reason. Advent begins on the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30th) and ends on December 24th. Christmas begins December 25th at midnight and continues until the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus.
Advent is our liturgically built-in time of spiritual preparation for Christmas. If you want to get the most out of the Christmas season and fill up your soul with love for Christ, the best way to do that is to “let every heart prepare Him room” —and celebrating Advent is the Church’s way to do it!