Sunday, December 1st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 24:37-44.
First Sunday of Advent – Year A
1 December 2013
“Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.”
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 24:37-44.
For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
First Sunday of Advent – Year A
Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.
Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday. The Eastern churches’ equivalent of Advent is called the Nativity Fast, but it differs in both length and observances and does not begin the church year, which starts instead on September 1. At least in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian and Methodist calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, which is the Sunday between November 27 and December 3 inclusive.
Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
The theme of readings and teachings during Advent is often the preparation for the Second Coming while commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas. The first clear references in the Western Church to Advent occur in the Gelasian Sacramentary, which provides Advent Collects, Epistles, and Gospels for the five Sundays preceding Christmas and for the corresponding Wednesdays and Fridays. While the readings relate to the first coming of Jesus Christ as savior as well as to his second coming as judge, traditions vary in the relative importance of penitence and expectation during the four Sundays in Advent.
The usual liturgical colour in Western Christianity for Advent is either purple or blue. The purple color is often used for hangings around the church, the vestments of the clergy, and often also the tabernacle. In some Christian denominations, blue, a colour representing hope, is an alternative liturgical colour for Advent, a custom traced to the usage of the Church of Sweden (Lutheran) and the medieval Sarum Rite in England. In addition, the colour blue is also used in the Mozarabic Rite (Catholic and Anglican), which dates from the 8th century. This colour is often referred to as “Sarum blue”.
The Lutheran Book of Worship lists blue as the preferred colour for Advent while the Methodist Book of Worship identifies purple or blue as appropriate for Advent. There has been an increasing trend to supplant purple with blue during Advent as it is a hopeful season of preparation that anticipates both Bethlehem and the consummation of history in the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Proponents of this new liturgical trend argue that purple is traditionally associated with solemnity and somberness, which is fitting to the repentant character of Lent. The Roman Catholic Church retains the traditional purple.
On the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, rose may be used instead, referencing the rose used on Laetare Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Lent.
During the Nativity Fast, red is used by Eastern Christianity, although gold is an alternative color.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A short explanation of the Advent season and its significance in the Liturgical Year.
The Coming of the Lord:
Happy New Year! While a month yet remains in the civil year, the Church is celebrating the beginning of a new Liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent on November 27, 2011. Advent — from the Latin ad venio, “to come” — is the liturgical season anticipating the Adventus Domini, the “coming of the Lord.” While the days grow shorter and colder, we prepare for the “Sun of Justice” who comes to kindle our hearts with his light and his love.
The Eternal Word, who is outside of time, became Incarnate in time, thereby making all time sacred. In the season of Advent, we await the coming of Christ on all the levels which we experience time: in the past — as a babe in the stable of Bethlehem; in the present — as grace in our souls; and in the future — as the Judge at the end of time.
The Advent season is filled with preparation and expectation. Everyone is getting ready for Christmas — shopping and decorating, baking and cleaning. Too often, however, we are so busy with the material preparations that we lose sight of the real reason for our activity: the Word made flesh coming to dwell among us. Christians are urged to preserve the spiritual focus of Christmas amidst the prevailingly secular and consumer-driven society.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, let us strive to keep Advent a season of waiting and longing, of conversion and hope, meditating often on the incredible love and humility of our God in taking on flesh of the Virgin Mary. In our shopping and baking, let us remember to purchase and prepare something for the poor. When we clean our homes, let us distribute some of our possessions to those who lack many necessities. While we are decking the halls of our homes, let us not forget to prepare a peaceful place in our hearts wherein our Savior may come to dwell.
Focus on the Liturgy:
There are always four Sundays in Advent, though not necessarily four full weeks. The liturgical color of the season is violet or purple, except on the Third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, when optional rose vestments may be worn. The Gloria is not recited during Advent liturgies, but the Alleluia is retained.
The prophesies of Isaiah are read often during the Advent season, but all of the readings of Advent focus on the key figures of the Old and New Testaments who were prepared and chosen by God to make the Incarnation possible: the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, Sts. Elizabeth and Zechariah. The expectancy heightens from December 17 to December 24 when the Liturgy resounds with the seven magnificent Messianic titles of the O Antiphons.
The Advent season also has a Marian and pro-life focus. We meditate on this wonderful mystery of the Word Made Flesh with as much eagerness as his Mother, Mary prepared and awaited the birth of her son. In the USA we celebrate the special feasts of the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of the United States of America, on December 8, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, on December 12. Other saints’ days traditionally associated in with our preparation for Christmas include St. Nicholas, patron saint of children whose feast falls on December 6, and the saint of light, St. Lucy on December 13.
Activity Source: Original Text (JGM) by Jennifer Gregory Miller, © Copyright 2003-2013 by Jennifer Gregory Miller
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