Advent - fasting period or contemplative pre-Christmas
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Advent, the term comes from the Latin word "adventus," which means "coming"; in the meaning Adventus Domini (Latin for the coming of the Lord), the term refers to the season which Christendom should prepare the feast of Christmas, dedicate to the birth of Jesus Christ.
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.
Epipháneia meaning "appearance"
Originally, the concept of "epiphany" in the meaning of "coming back or returning", also referred to Epiphanias, was the arrival, presence, visit of a magistrate, in particular the arrival of kings or emperors (adventus divi "Arrival of the divine ruler"). It could also express the coming of the godhead in the temple. Christians took this word to express their relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Advent season originally a Lent Period
The Advent was originally a fasting time, which the Old Church decided to happen on the days between 11 November and the original Christmas Eve, the feast of the apparition of the Lord on 6 January. In addition, the fasting time and the advent time was considered as a "closed time". In these closed times it was not allowed to dance and elaborately celebrate. Even solemn ceremonies could not take place in closed times, but silent ceremonies were ok. Since 1917 the Advent has not been demanded by Catholic Church law.
Christmas Eve as the fourth Sunday of Advent
In the years when Christmas falls on a Monday, Christmas Eve is counted as the fourth Advent Sunday; with Vespers the Christmas festival begins. This regulation was confirmed by the Council of Trent, after deviating regional traditions had established themselves. In 1570, Pope Pius V governed the settlement of the law. In some dioceses, which remained in the Ambrosian rite, for example, in the Archbishopric of Milan, the six-week Advent period has lasted until today.
In the Gallic area, the end-time motif of Christ's return, which led to the development of the Advent as a time of a serious repentance, emphasized the Christmas-joyful arrival motif of the Incarnation of God. This ambivalence is taken into account in the liturgy on the various Advent days.
Orthodox churches celebrate Advent as Lent
The Christian Orthodox Churches celebrate Advent for six weeks as a fasting, starting from the 15th of November (the corresponding calendar) until December 24th. The term "Advent" is not so common there and is only used in recent times. One speaks rather of the Philippus fasting or Christmas fast. The church year in the Orthodox Church does not begin on the first advent, but on 1 September.
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