The starting point of Christmas period in the Catholic churches is called the First Sunday of Advent. This day is a festive start of a liturgical year. Traditionally the date is set on the 4th Sunday before Catholic Christmas. The date isn’t strict but mostly it’s at the end of November or the beginning of December. When is First Sunday of Advent in 2017? The date falls on December, 3.
What’s the history of the day
People don’t know exactly when the celebration began. There’re several disputes concerning the tradition. It was proposed by the Christian Catholic Church. Some religious books admit that the period of Advent was proposed in early 5th century. The period lasted for 6 weeks and began from St. Martin’s Day on November, 11. During the Advent period of those times people had a strong fast. It was a preparatory period for Christmas day. A hundred years later the Catholic Church proposed to reduce that period and cancel the tradition of a fast, though the Orthodox Christians left the tradition of strong fasting before Christmas Eve.
The initial aim of Advent was to prepare body and soul for a great holiday. Most of the things were restricted during the period. Winter fast was comparable with the preparation for Easter day. People also had a great Lent. Nowadays in winter they don’t have so many limitations.
The traditions of Advent period were carried into different countries becoming sometimes a real joy. The United States of America accepted a custom of making advent calendars. These festive things are sold everywhere and bought or made for presents. This pre-Christmas custom appeared in the USA in the 1950s. Nowadays millions of such Advent calendars are sold around the whole world. The first day in the calendar coincides with the first day of Advent period. People can find the information about it in the internet “What day First Sunday of Advent in 2017?”
How do people usually celebrate the day
Advent is recognized as one of the real festive tradition. Beginning from the First Sunday of Advent people expect one of the most grandiose events of Christianity. This period is dedicated to preparation for a day. People usually begin looking for Christmas presents for their dearest people and colleagues. They start decorating their houses and thinking over their Christmas vacations and parties.
Worshippers try to encourage their children in following the traditions of Advent. They usually try to involve them with a funny Advent calendar. People may spend much time in church or stay at home during these four preparatory before-Christmas weeks.
Catholic Christians pay much attention to decorating their homes. They visit many stores looking for the best Advent wreath which is placed on a dinner table. Another wreath is hung on the front door of each house or flat. The tradition of lighting the candles is followed during the whole period of Advent. The first candle is lighted up during a meal on the First Sunday of Advent. Christians put a new candle every Sunday before Christmas. The worshippers always read Scripture before starting dinner. Families pray together involving their children to the tradition. When is First Sunday of Advent 2017? People can light the first candle of Advent on December, 3.
There aren’t strict traditions concerning the day, though the majority of families try to prepare festive meals for a holiday. The housewives have special recipes of cookies and cakes, use festive decorated coverings for their dinner-tables.
An Advent calendar is almost the best present for a child. The most useful kind of a calendar is a list of paper or wood with small opening windows which gave the number of a date and a small picture. Another variant proposes small chocolate pieces for each date till Christmas.
The central symbol of Advent period is a wreath. People can find the sign of unity in visiting churches. Lighting candles is a family tradition, though some religious communities try to involve people who aren’t married yet or had a husband or a wife earlier. Worshippers who are away from their homes can also visit churches and take part in candle lighting.
The tradition of lighting candles deeply roots into the Middle Ages. The people of Northern Europe used to light a candle in the center of a wreath. It was made of evergreen plants. The circle symbolized the infinity of life. People tried to find the warmth of spring and summer in lighted candles. If a visitor wants to be involved into the tradition of Advent, he should find the schedule of celebrating with writing “What is First Sunday of Advent in 2017, calendar of events?” in the internet.
The most interesting facts about Advent
There’re many interesting facts which people should know to be involved into the Advent traditions:
- All four Sundays of the period are devoted to a certain topic. The 1st week is devoted to faithfulness. The 2nd and 3rd week-ends concern joy and hope. The 4th Sunday stands for love.
- Churches use three kinds of candles which are lit in the centre of a wreath. The main colours are purple, pink and white. The last one is used on Christmas day.
- Ornaments are mainly made by children. These things are hung then on the Christmas tree. It’s a custom to do the ornaments of fish and doves.
- There are many purple banners in churches. It symbolizes the start of Advent.
- “The History of Franks” was the first source which mentioned the procedure of Advent.
- “O come Emmanuel” is the most significant verse of the festive period.
- The word’s meaning is “coming”. It means that the moment of Christ’s birth is nearby.
- There’re two recognized meanings of the period of Advent. The first one concerns the Lord’s coming into our world and the second one describes the birth of a child.
- The most important theme of Advent is hope. Worshippers wait for Christ coming with a great hope.
- First followers of Advent were French churches. Then the tradition developed in Rome.
What is the date of First Sunday of Advent 2017? The holiday comes on December, 3.