Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (meaning, "ad-venio in Latin or "to come to") is the season leading up to the celebration of Christmas. The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas.
In 2016 the First Sunday of Advent is November 27. During the subsequent four weeks, Catholics prepare with mounting expectation for the coming of Christ in a spirit of waiting, conversion and hope.
During Advent we are doing something very different than the rest of society is doing in the weeks leading up to Christmas. During Advent, we remember with joy all that lead up to Jesus’ first coming in the flesh, culminating in His birth at Bethlehem. God was working out his mysterious plan of salvation from the beginning of time. During Advent, we also look ahead to the end of time when Christ will come again in glory. In a sense, all of life is Advent, since we are all waiting for Christ’s second coming. We know that Christ first come to us as a child. He will come again as our judge and king at the end of time.
Advent devotions remind us of the meaning of the season. Special Advent devotions include the lighting of the Advent wreath; the Advent calendar which helps remind us of the season with daily thoughts and activities; Advent prayers that prepare us spiritually for the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Feast celebrates that Mary, conceived in her mother’s womb, was without the stain of original sin. This was a special grace granted by God. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is also the Savior of His mother. He saved her from sin before she was born, at the moment of her conception in St. Ann’s womb. In doing so, He also prepared her womb for His Presence.