Celebrating Advent: Keeping Jesus Christ The Focus Of The Season
By Deseret News Nov 25, 2011, Eric D. Huntsman, For the Deseret News
“Advent is an important tradition in Germany and Scandinavia as well as being part of the Christmas worship of many branches of Christianity, including the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and Methodist churches. The name “Advent” comes from the Latin ‘adventus,’ meaning “coming, appearance, or presence.”
As early as Pope Gregory the Great (A.D. 590–604), Advent was established as a four-week preparatory period that anticipated the celebration of the birth, or advent, of Jesus Christ as the Babe of Bethlehem. But as observed today, Advent also celebrates Christ’s presence and importance in our lives now, and, just as importantly, looks forward to his future return in glory when he will reign as Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Although some Christian communities celebrate it differently, a common feature of the Advent celebration is the Advent wreath, a simple or decorated evergreen wreath with four candles set in the circle and perhaps a fifth, white candle set in the middle.”
Eric D. Huntsman is an associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University and is the author of “Good Tidings of Great Joy: An Advent Celebration of the Savior’s Birth” published by Deseret Book