Now it starts again, the pre-Christmas period, or, as it is also called, the Advent season. Time of the Christmas markets and cozy meetings together with friends in spite of some partial cold outdoors.
And even if there are only a few reasons for the joy due to increasing problems because increasing migration problems as well as terror, exactly now the time should be used to get together and chat with each other. Just invite your new foreign neighbors to visit a Christmas market together, explain the background, ask him if there is similar tradition. A cultural exchange of ideas and a first step for newcomers to be integrated into society. Look back into history ......
..... to find out, where this original religious custom comes from? The Advents was once a fasting time, which the Old Church decided to happen on the days between the 11th of November and the original Christmas date, the fest of the apparition of the Lord on January 6th. So it is comparable to a period of time, which is similar in other religions as a period of special occasions in the year such as, for example, fasting. The fasting time as well as the Advent time was also considered a "closed time" in Christianity. In these closed periods, no danced and elaborate celebration should be celebrated. Here, too, there are many parallels, for example to the Islam. Even solemn ceremonies could not take place in closed times, but silent ceremonies are ok. It was only since 1917 that the Advent fast was no longer required by Catholic Church law.
Pope Gregor established four days of Advent at Christmas
The Advents in today's form goes back to the 7th century. It was called tempus ante natale domini ( "time before the birth of the Lord") or tempus adventūs Domini ( "time of the coming of the Lord"). In the Roman Church of the West, there were between four and six Sundays in the Advent, until Pope Gregory the Great first established the number at four. The four Sundays were symbolic for the four thousand years that people had to wait for the Savior after the fall in paradise, according to ecclesiastical historiography.
After the so-called "Strasbourg Advent dispute," at the request of Emperor Conrad II, at a Synod in 1038, the question was decided as to whether the Advents would have to extend over four full weeks. In the years when Christmas falls on a Monday, Christmas Eve is counted as the fourth Advent day; Vesper starts the Christmas celebration. This regulation was confirmed by the Council of Trent, after deviating regional traditions had established themselves. In 1570 Pope Pius V was responsible for the legal agreements. In some dioceses which remained in the Ambrosian rite, for example, in the Archbishopric of Milan, the six-week Advent period has been preserved.
In the Gauls emphasized the end-time motif of Christ's reign, which led to the development of the Advent as a time of a serious repentance, the Christmas-joyful arrival motif of the incarnation of God. This ambivalence is taken into account in the liturgy on the various Advent days.
Preparation for Christmas for Christians
Advent, actually Adventus Domini (lat. For the coming of the Lord), denotes the season in which Christians prepare themselves for the feast of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas. The Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus and celebrate it as the Incarnation of God. At the same time, Advent reminds that Christians should expect the second coming of Jesus Christ. With the first Advent Sunday, the new church year begins for the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church.
Originally the concept of Advent was the Greek term epipháneia ( "phenomenon", see Epiphanias) and meant arrival, presence, visit of an official in the Roman Empire, in particular the arrival of kings or emperors. It could also express the coming of the god in the temple. The Christians then took this word to express their relationship with Jesus Christ.
From these few lines you might already get the constant change in the meaning of the original occasion of the Advents, it is recognizable in the course of time. This change will continue, the stranger will be known and disseminated - perhaps also in the direction of approximating the values of different beliefs, cultures.
The starting point of all religions is clear: basic rules for human coexistence.
A joyful and reflective pre-Christmas time to you all!
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