Welcome to Advent! There are a few things that we should know about Advent. It is the beginning of the church year; our new liturgical calendar begins this Sunday and only lasts four short weeks, which leads us into the Christmas season. We will begin reading from Luke's Gospel, which will take us through the entire liturgical season: Advent, Christmas, Ordinary time, Easter / Pentecost.
Today we light the first of the four Advent candles; starting with one of the three purple colored candles. You'll notice that the church is relatively bare and the liturgical color is also purple; a color of anticipation. The church invites us to journey through this season with a certain kind of hope; a hope in Him, in Emmanuel: God with us, as we make our way through the joys and sorrows, to the promise of new life.
Advent is a time to prepare, to make ready, our homes and our hearts to receive Jesus and his message of Good news. One good way to prepare is by participating in the upcoming Advent reconciliation service, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 1, starting at 7 p.m.