In many Christian Sunday services during the Advent season, people of the church community will be asked to light the Advent Candle for one of the four weeks leading to Christmas. Families!
Usually, it will be family members of the community that will be asked to volunteer to read from the Old and New Testaments and then light the candle of the week. The candles, once lit, will be on for the whole service and will be on for all the services for each of the four weeks thereafter.
This year, the first candle was on Dec. 3 and the fourth candle is to be lighted on the 24th, Christmas Eve day. In some churches, a fifth candle might be lighted during the evening Christmas Eve service.
The Advent celebrations have been part of Christianity since the fifth century. The four weeks leading up to Christmas was a very serious and deeply religious time; contemplation, prayer and blessed reflection were practiced, with three days of fasting for each of the four weeks leading to Christmas Eve. It was known as St. Martin’s Lent - the lent of St. Martin. This was a celebration of man becoming one with God and the celebration of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost - the Trinity of everlasting life
Christmas was the beginning of the Christmas festival: a 12-day festival, it ended on Jan. 6 with the celebration of the Epiphany, the coming of the Magi and the three wise men.
To many in the world of Christianity, this is the day gifts are given and is the end of the Christmas celebration.
The Twelve Days of Christmas - with lords a-leaping and partridges in pear trees - is the time for rejoicing and great joy. Joy to the world, the lord is come. Let earth receive its king.
Christmas is coming. Feel the spirit, the spirit of Christ’s Mass.
A point to ponder.
Phil Mikan is the host of the Phil Mikan Show on WMRD 1150/WLIS AM 1420 daily at 10 a.m. and the Weekend Corner Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him at Phil Mikan, Central Connecticut Communications, One Liberty Square, New Britain, CT 06051