What is First Advent Sunday?
The start of Advent is December 3, 2023. In Western Christian denominations, the day is known as the First Advent Sunday or the First Sunday of Advent. It is also considered the start of the commencement of the liturgical year.
The fourth Sunday before the Christmas celebration is known as Advent Sunday. The day varies yearly but typically falls from November 27 to December 3.
First Advent Sunday All Quick Overview
- Time/Date: 3rd December
- Category: Religious
- Where It’s Marked? Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
- Why It’s Marked? It is the start of the Christmas and Jesus Christ's Advent preparations. Today is the day that people begin anticipating Christ's Second Coming.
History of First Advent Sunday
It is most likely that Advent has been observed since the 4th century. Traditionally, it is a period of preparation for baptism for new Christians. However, a brief history behind celebrating First Advent Sunday is given below:
It is unclear when the followers of Jesus started observing the Advent season. Around 567, the Council of Tours recognized the observation of the First Advent Sunday. Later, between 461- 490, Bishop Perpetuus of Tours created a fast starting from November 11 to Christmas.
In Western Churches, followers observe Advent to start the liturgical year, which is the closest to St. Andrew’s Day.
Similar preparation and repentance are practiced during the 40 days of fasting by the Eastern church followers. According to many historians and religious books, people have been observing Advent to prepare for the first and second coming of Jesus.
Northern European folklore tells us about the roots of the Advent wreath. It is a typical icon of observing the Advent season. Back then, people would light candles on wreaths cut into the shape of wheels during the coldest months of the year.
The wreath used to be made of pine trees, representing continuing life. The candle's light also comforted them in the darkest period of the year.
How to Celebrate First Advent Sunday?
Preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus while celebrating the first Coming of Christ at Christmas is commonly the focus of readings and reciting the sermons during Advent.
Jesus Christ came as a savior at first, and his second coming is considered a judge. During the Four Advents, particular passages are mandatory to read so Christians can focus on Jesus until the happy occasion of Christmas.
Here are a few suggestions for you on how to celebrate the First Advent Sunday.
1. Make or purchase an Advent calendar
An Advent calendar is a card or poster with 24 tiny doors on it. From December 1 until Christmas Eve, one of the doors is to be unlocked. It's a terrific activity with loved ones and a pleasant way to welcome the season.
Parents hide a picture, a symbol, or a passage from the Bible behind every calendar door. Thus, the children have fun counting each day.
2. Decorate a Wreath
The Advent season is represented by the Advent wreath, also known as the Advent crown, a Christian tradition. Therefore, on the First Sunday, create a wreath of your own, or purchase one already constructed, and decorate it with candles.
Light them in the evening and put your wreath somewhere in your house to act as a reminder to show respect to Jesus.
3. Cut out a Jesse tree craft
With roots in Isaiah's prophecy of the source of Jesse, the Jesse Tree is a unique Advent tradition that stretches back to the Middle Ages (Isaiah 11:10). For teaching kids about the Bible at Christmas, the custom can be both helpful and enjoyable.
The Jesse Tree represents Jesus Christ's ancestry. It can be utilized to narrate the tale of salvation from the beginning of time up until the Messiah's arrival.
4. Hang Alpha and Omega sign
The Lord God said in Revelation 1:8 that "I am the Alpha and the Omega." Therefore, in many churches, these Greek Alphabets are used as emblems for the First Sunday of Advent.
5. Participate in a church service
Advent Sunday is typically when the authority plans church services, and it's an excellent chance to discover deeper about this spiritual season through the passages and lessons of the season.
Countries that observe First Advent Sunday
Orthodox, Celtic, and Eastern Catholics of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland celebrate First Advent Sunday. During the middle age, Germany started adopting the customs of Advent, which then spread in North America and Europe.
Different denominations, including Vineyard, Brethren, Baptist and Assembly of God, celebrate the religious holiday. Congregational Christians, Lutheran, Orthodox, Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Methodist Christians also observe the customs of the First Advent.
Interesting facts about First Advent Sunday
Throughout the whole observation of Advent, people observe different customs and activities. Here are some interesting factors that surprise you.
- The candles lit on each day of Advent has a different meaning. They are known as Hope, Peace, Love (John), Joy (Mother Mary), and the arrival of Jesus.
- It is preferable to fast from the First Advent Sunday. It will help you to prepare your mind to focus on prayer.
- The colors of Advent also have great significance. Most of the candles and decorations for Advent Sunday are made using purple and violet colors.
- In several churches, alters and the priests' robes remain in these colors. Sometimes, the color may change from purple to violet to pink.
- Many people decorate their Advent calender with chocolates, candies, lego, or puzzles to make the countdown to Christmas more enjoyable.
- Given the significance of Sundays around Advent, several churches forbid funeral liturgies on particular days.
- Usually, churches concentrate on one particular religious subject, such as the Messiah, the Prophets, and the Baptists who baptized Jesus - John.
- God’s boundless and everlasting love for humanity is represented by the wreath’s round shape, which has no start or finish.
- According to the Old Testament, the four candles on the advent wreath symbolize each 1000 years men had to wait for Jesus to arrive on earth.
Unique First Advent Sunday Celebration Ideas
Many customs have evolved over the past 50 years for observing First Advent. If you are looking for some unique ways to celebrate the day, continue reading.
- On the First Advent Sunday, spend a few moments in complete silence while breathing deeply. You may relate to the patience and importance of waiting for God to listen to your prayers.
- Listen to music that reflects the waiting for Jesus’s arrival.
- Read Bible passages designated for the respective Sunday of Advent and learn about the coming of Jesus.
- Know the true meaning of Advent and share it with your friends.
- Attend the Advent services arranged by the church.
- Costume up in a Biblical character and choose different themes on each Sunday of Advent. For example, the Glorious coming of Jesus or the Promise of Messiah and the waiting period for it.
First Advent Sunday Quotes
If you are unaware of how you should wish someone on First Advent Sunday, Here are some quotes for you.
“Advent is a journey towards Bethlehem. May we let ourselves be drawn by the light of God made man.” - Pope Francis
“Let’s exercise patience because the Lord’s movements are frequently shocking and upsetting rather than steady and predictable. Let Jesus hear your prayers for the Advent.”- unknown
"At this Christmas, when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the Advent season by loving and Serving others with God's love and concern."- Mother Teresa
“The only option we have right now is to pay until our Lord rescues us from salvation.”- unknown
“Advent is the spiritual season of hope par excellence, and in this season, the whole Church is called to be hope, for itself and the world.”- Pope Benedict XVI
“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”- Karl Rahner
“May God bless you and grant you a holy and joyous Advent. May He lead you in all that you do.”- unknown
1. What is the meaning of the first Sunday in Advent?
On the First Sunday of Advent, people focus on praying and wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
2. What is the meaning of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sunday of Advent?
The first Advent Sunday honors Isaiah and all other prophets mentioned in Bible who have predicted that Jesus will be resurrected again.
3. What is represented by candles lit on the first Sunday of Advent?
The Prophecy Candle to remember the prophets.
First Sunday Of Advent Observances
|2021||Sunday||28 November||First Sunday Of Advent|
|2022||Sunday||27 November||First Sunday Of Advent|
|2023||Sunday||03 December||First Sunday Of Advent|
|2024||Sunday||01 December||First Sunday Of Advent|
|2025||Tuesday||30 December||First Sunday Of Advent|
|2026||Tuesday||29 December||First Sunday Of Advent|
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