Skip to comments.History, Customs and Folklore of Advent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]``
Posted on 11/27/2010 10:06:08 AM PST by Salvation
In 490, Bishop Perpetuus of Tours officially declared Advent a penitential season in the Frankish Church of Western Europe, ordering a fast on three days of every week from November 11 (the feast of St. Martin of Tours) till Christmas. This forty days' fast, similar to Lent, was originally called Quadragesima Sancti Martini (Forty Days' Fast of Saint Martin's). The Readings for the Eucharistic Liturgies were taken from the Masses of Lent.
By contrast, the Advent season of the Roman liturgy, developing a century after that of the Frankish Church, was a non-penitential, festive and joyful time of preparation for Christmas. When the Church unified the liturgical season, the non-penitential nature of the Roman Advent conflicted with the longer and penitential Gallic Advent. By the thirteenth century a compromise was reached, which combined the fasting and penitential character of the Gallic observance with the Mass texts and shorter four-week cycle of the Roman Advent liturgy. The liturgy of Advent remained substantially unaltered until Vatican II mandated a few minor changes to more clearly delineate the spirit of the Lenten and Advent seasons.
Customs and Folklore
The most perfect way to embrace the spirit of Advent is to attend daily Mass and pray the Liturgy of the Hours. If this is not possible, try smaller goals, such as attending one extra mass during the week; praying the Saturday Evening Prayer with the family in preparation for Sunday; reading and discussing the readings of the Mass of the day with the family.
The members of the domestic church should also try to receive the Sacrament of Penance during the Advent season to prepare for the coming of Christ for it is not possible coherently to celebrate the birth of him who saves his people from their sins without some effort to overcome sin in ones own life. (Directory on Popular Piety, #105)
There are many customs that can be incorporated in the domestic church to teach and reinforce the Advent spirit. For example, the first Sunday of Advent is a good time for each family member to choose a secret "Christkindl" or Christ Child for whom he or she will perform little acts of love such as a prayer, a small gift, a sacrifice, a note or a piece of candy throughout Advent.
Another such Advent practice is that of having an empty crib or manger, which each family member will soften with straw earned by a sacrifice, a prayer or a work of mercy. After Christmas, the family will gather before the Infant Savior, in his now-padded crib, for their evening prayers or for Scripture reading.
In the Activities section you will find suggestions and directions for such customs as Preparing the Manger, an Advent Wreath, Christmas Novena, and the O Antiphons, the Jesse Tree and the Advent calendar. All these traditions involve a countdown, or some action performed each day in anticipation of Christs birth.
When employing new Advent customs within your domestic church it is important to remember that they are only aids, not goals in themselves. With joyful hope and anticipation, then, let us prepare for the coming of the Son of God, praying with the Church: Come, Lord Jesus, do not delay!
Jennifer Gregory Miller Jennifer G. Miller
Activity Source: Original Text (JGM) by Jennifer Gregory Miller, © Copyright 2003-2009 by Jennifer Gregory Miller
Happy New Year a month before the secular world recognizes the new year!
A blessed season of Advent to all.
oops just saw the caucus, I’m Anglican.
Orthodox Christians practice the Nativity Fast which extends from November 15th through December 24th. The fast is quite strict, no meat, fish with a backbone, dairy, eggs, oil or wine as a general matter, though there are easings of the Fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays (allowed wine and oil) and fish wine and oil are allowed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Truth be told, this fast is honored more in the breach than in the keeping, at least the food part. But this period is still seen by Orthodox Christians as intensely penitential. We are continually to pray “O LORD, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips.” and thus “fast” from anger, greed, etc. It is a time of year when almsgiving is particularly encouraged. All in all, it is antithetical to the secular spectacle we started seeing around us yesterday.
**We are continually to pray O LORD, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips.**
Good words for all of us to say all the time!
>>oops just saw the caucus, Im Anglican.<<
A blessed Advent to you too!
If you’re not here to slam us, I’m sure you’re welcome.
Lord Love you!
In the Pennsylvania Dutch vernacular the greeting is Heilige Ny Jaar ("Holy New Year")--especially fitting for the First Sunday of Advent.
Thanks for your contributions. Both welcome here.
Celebrating Advent in a Culture of Fear
Grave of the Craving (Do We Embrace our Dependence on God during Advent?)
Advent -- A Season of Hope
A New Holiday Tradition -- Construct a Jesse Tree with your family during Advent
Pope on Advent: With Jesus, there is no life without meaning
Advent: Awaiting God's Justice -- Pope Benedict XVI
St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
Advent Reflections for 2008
Bringing our fallen-away relations back to Church during Advent
History and Symbolism of the Advent Wreath
Rediscovering Advent in the (St.) Nick of Time
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas
Mary's Gift of Self Points the Way, "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 1 of 4
The Perfect Faith of the Blessed Virgin "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 2 of 4
Theotokos sums up all that Mary is: "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 3 of 4
Reclaiming the Mystery of Advent, Part One: The Meaning of Advent
Renewing the Mystery of Advent, Part Two: The Witness of John the Baptist
Why Gaudete?, Part Three (Third Sunday of Advent)
Sunday before Nativity
Holy Mary and the Death of Sin - "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 4 of 4
Catholic Liturgy - Rose-Colored Vestments on Gaudete Sunday
Advent through Christmas -- 2007
Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Advent 2007 -- Day by Day
Making Advent a Reality (the seasons are out of whack)
The Advent Workshop -- lots of information and activities
Jesse Trees (genealogy of Jesus activity for families)
Advent Wreath & Candles (Prayers for the Family)
Reclaiming the Mystery of Advent, Part One: The Meaning of Advent
Celebrating Christs Advent [Archbishop Raymond Burke]
Praying through Advent -- 2006
The Paradox of Advent
Experience the Joy of Advent
Advent: the Reason for the Season
The Advent Wreath
Advent Activity - The Jesse Tree
That incredible shrinking Advent-Christmas season (Christmas should start, not end, Dec. 25)
Advent Thoughts: Some of the Church Fathers on the Divinity of Christ
The Relationship Between Advent and the Change in the Seasons (Dom Guéranger)