The Advent of Our Lord is the beginning of the church year, as Christians prepare for both the birth of the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem and for the second coming of Jesus as the risen Christ to rule triumphantly over life in heaven and on earth.
Christians often make a wreath of live evergreen branches for Advent, placing four candles around the wreath, one for each Sunday in Advent. On Christmas Eve they replace the wreath with the Christ candle.
We begin our preparation with the cry of John the Baptist, "make straight the way of the Lord!"
Sometimes Christians are so involved in the busy preparations for the Christmas celebration that they forget their main purpose in Advent is to prepare their hearts to welcome Jesus.
The color blue is a reminder that the most important thing Christians do during Advent is to prepare their hearts as a welcome place for God. The rose color of the third Sunday in Advent calls Christians to remember the joy that is an essential part of Advent.
As we prepare for Christmas, we may also prepare Lessons and Carols for Christmas Eve.
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