For Catholics everywhere Advent is the season that begins the liturgical year. It consists of four Sundays beginning with the Sunday closest to November 30th. The word advent is derived from the Latin adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival.” In the societies of the Roman empire, the word adventus referred to the arrival of a person of dignity and great power — a king, emperor, or even one of the gods. For Christians, Advent is the time when the church patiently prepares for the coming of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.
Each Monday morning during the season of Advent, the students, faculty and parents gather for prayer and light the candles of the Advent wreath. This wreath, consisting of a circle of evergreen branches set around four candles, is commonly used in churches, Catholic schools and homes. The evergreen circle stands for the eternal life that Christ has won for all believers. The burning candles represent the coming of Christ as the light of the world. The colors of the Advent candles can vary. Traditionally, three purple candles and one rose-colored or pink candle are used. The purple signifies that Advent is a season of repentance as well as expectation. A candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent, with another one lit on each succeeding Sunday. The joyfully colored pink candle is reserved for the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word which means “rejoice.”
Very often during the Advent season, the school community will participate in various grade level or schoolwide service projects. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to help make a difference in our parish, community and the world. Jesus Himself was our model of how we should serve others!