The season of Advent begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas. "Advent" is a Latin word meaning "the coming." During the season of Advent, Christians across the world prepare for the celebration of the coming of the Lord into the world through the birth of his Son Jesus Christ. Advent is a time to celebrate light in the midst of darkness, as symbolized best by the Advent wreath.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, thou rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of of hell thy people save
And give them vict'ry o'er the grave


O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here
And drive away the shaves of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light


O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
And close the path to misery


O come, O come, Thou Lord of might
Who to thy tribes, on Sinai's height
In ancient times did'st give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe


The Advent Wreath

The Advent Wreath is the widely recognized symbol of Advent. The wreath is made of a circle of evergreen branches laid flat to symbolize the endless nature of God's love for his people. Four candles stand in the circle. Traditionally, three of the candles are purple and the fourth, the "Joy" candle is pink. Blue candles may also be used to emphasize our hope in God's promise fulfilled in the Nativity. One candle is lit during the first week of Advent, two during the second week, three during the third and four during the fourth week. The candles remind us of the light of God coming into the world, and the light from the candles grows brighter as each week comes closer to Christmas.

Daily Scripture Readings for Advent

The weeks of Advent remind us to set aside some of the hectic business of the holiday season, and to quietly reflect on the promise of the baby born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. The Bible readings listed below relate to the Advent themes of waiting, preparation, light in the darkness, and the coming of the promised Messiah.

Week I: Be Filled With Hope

Sunday:        Mark 13.24-37
Monday:        Romans 15.1-13
Tuesday:       Psalm 33
Wednesday: Isaiah 51.12-16
Isaiah 62.1-12
Friday:          Jeremiah 33:14-16
Saturday:      Mark 1.1-8

Week 2: Be Filled With Peace

Sunday:        Psalm 85
Monday:        Isaiah 2.1-5
Tuesday:       Isaiah 11.1-9
Wednesday: Micah 5.2-6
Thursday:      Zechariah 8.1-17
Friday:          Philippians 4.4-9
Saturday:      1 Thessalonians 5.12-28

Week 3: Be Filled With Joy

Sunday:        Psalm 126
Monday:        Isaiah 61.1-11
Tuesday:       Jeremiah 31.1-14
Wednesday: Luke 1.26-38
Thursday:      Luke 1.39-56
Friday:          Luke 1.57-66
Saturday:      Luke 1.67-80

Week 4: Be Filled With Love

Sunday:        Psalm 89.1-37
Monday:        Romans 12.9-21
Tuesday:       Romans 13.8-14
Wednesday: Corinthians 13.1-13
Thursday:      Galatians 5.13-26
Friday:          John 3.1-21
Saturday:      Luke 2.1-20