Advent means “Coming”

Advent is taken from the Latin adventus, and means “coming” or “arrival.” The Latin etymology is ad + venire, “towards” + “to come”.

It is a season of preparation for the coming of Christ:

– we prepare to celebrate and reflect on the first coming of Christ, at Christmas
– we look ahead to the second coming of Christ, when “he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead”
– we pray that Christ will come more deeply into our hearts, that our relationship with him will be strengthened

If you listen carefully to the readings and the prayers at Mass during Advent, you will hear references to all three of these themes of Christ’s coming.


3 thoughts on “Advent means “Coming”

  1. As a Presbyterian growing up we marked the 4 weeks of Advent by lighting the candles of the Advent wreath. Three were purple and one was pink. (I loved being acolyte during Advent because there were so many more candles to light.) I have forgotten the significance of the pink candle and which week it was for. I didn’t remember that “Advent” meant “Coming”. If you had asked me without telling me I would have guessed “Waiting” or something like that.

  2. Catholics have Advent wreaths, too. The pink candle is the third Sunday. It has a name – Gaudete? I think. My understanding is it’s the “we’re almost there (he’s almost here?)” encouragement to help us through the season.

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