What is Advent?

I wrote this article for class. It’s pretty hard to get Advent down in 150-250 words, but I did my best (in exactly 250). I figured I’d share it with you since I haven’t written anything in forever.

As we approach the Christmas season, you will begin to recognize much of the liturgy we use for the season, particularly that associated with Advent. The word “advent” actually comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means ‘a coming.’ The whole Advent season is remembering the coming of Christ to Earth as a man. The Christmas season itself focuses on Christ’s birth, but it is the beginning of a focus on Christ’s life from now until Good Friday and Easter, when we celebrate Christ’s death and Resurrection. If you’ve spent many years in the church, chances are you know exactly what we do to celebrate Advent. We light candles, read specific Bible passages, and focus our thoughts on the meaning of the Christmas season. But do you know what the colors and candles actually represent?
Generally, the Advent Wreath is at the base of the candles. It’s circular shape reminds us of God’s eternity, that he has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath is a symbol of the new life we are given through Christ. Each of the four outer candles symbolize a specific week before advent. Three are purple, to symbolize Christ’s royalty, and the third candle is traditionally pink, symbolizing our joy at the Advent. The white candle in the center is the Christ candle, and is lit on Christmas Eve or Day. It is located in the center to remind us the central focus of Christmas is the incarnation of our Lord, Jesus Christ.