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Holidays
Chapter 8

The word “holiday” means “holy day”. It was a religious feast day. The term here is used in the truest sense of the word. The church calendar is made up of holidays. The first half of the church year is focused on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Although most of this book follows alphabetical order, I felt it would be beneficial to place the holidays in the order of the church calendar.

I. ADVENT

Advent is the season which begins the Christian year; it commemorates the coming of Jesus the Messiah. Advent is celebrated for 28 days leading up to Christmas. It begins on the Sunday closest to November 30, the feast day of St. Andrew, and covers four Sundays.

The word “advent” is derived from the Latin word “Adventus” meaning “the coming.” It is a penitential season where believers are called to fast, pray and perform good works leading up to the feast of Christmas. As early as the mid-fourth century, however, the focus of Advent shifted away from penitence and fasting and instead celebrated the coming of the Messiah.

 

 

ADVENT CALENDAR – An Advent calendar is a calendar that contains 24 compartments, one compartment for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. Each compartment displays a scene connected to the birth of Jesus. Some compartments
even have room for a small treat such as a piece of candy.

Advent calendars date back as far as 1851, when they were made by hand. It would not be until the early 1900’s when the first Advent Calendar was printed on a press. Gerhard Lang from Maulbronn in Germany is credited with publishing the first calendar in 1908. Early calenders were always religious in nature, dealing with the birth of Jesus.

ADVENT WREATH – The Advent wreath is a display used during the season of Advent, leading up to Christmas.
The Advent wreath is made up of a wreath, four candles (three purple and one pink/rose) and an optional white candle in the center.

The color of the candles is significant. The pink/rose candle dates back to a tradition where the pope gave out a rose to one person on the fourth Sunday of Advent. It was this fourth Sunday of Advent that the congregation was given a break from fasting. On this
 
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