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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
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"Advent is a time of preparation. It is a time to look inward. It is a time to get ready and to see how ready we really are. You could say figuratively that every one of us has a beeper that could go off at any time. None of us knows when. " — Bishop Anthony B. Taylor
The word "advent" originated from the Latin "adventus," which means coming. The season of Advent, therefore, is the preparation for the coming of Jesus, first through the incarnation and ultimately, his coming again in glory at the end of time. This year it runs from Dec. 3 to Dec. 24. Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical year in the Catholic Church. Like Lent, the Gloria is not recited in Advent liturgies, but unlike Lent, the Alleluia is retained.
In this season, we are invited to reflect on the wondrous mystery of Jesus' birth as well as look with joy and hope to his return. We are called to repent of our sins, pray and draw ourselves closer to God. The liturgical color of Advent is violet or purple, except on the Third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete Sunday, when rose vestments may be worn. "Gaudete" is Latin for "rejoice," which is the first word of the entrance antiphon.
The color rose signifies anticipatory joy that the waiting is half over and Christmas is near. The Christmas season begins on Dec. 25, Christmas Day and runs through the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.