BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE QUOTES ON MY SIDEBAR.

Monday, November 30, 2009

ADVENT



Yesterday started the beginning of the Christian Year. This season is called ADVENT. Since some of you may not know about our Christian Year, I decided to write a couple of blogs about it. I will begin though by saying that not every Christian denomination follows the Christian Year. In my churches all through the years (Methodist and now Episcopal), we have followed the Christian Year---and I LOVE it. This first post will talk about Advent through Epiphany.

ADVENT begins our Christian year and includes the four Sundays before Christmas Day. Each of the seasons is represented by a specific color. The color of Advent is purple. Depending upon what day December 25th falls, Advent begins toward the end of November or the beginning of December. Advent is a time of anticipation and hope---and WAITING. Many churches light candles (Advent Wreath in my header) each week in anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ. Many homes also have small Advent Wreaths signifying the season. Advent carols are sung.

Each Sunday during Advent, the candles are lit --adding one each week. The first Sunday of Advent, one of the purple candles is lit. This candle stands for HOPE. On the 2nd Sunday, two candles are lit. The second purple one stands for PEACE. On the third Sunday of Advent, the pink candle is lit. This candle stands for JOY (knowing the the birth of Christ is coming very soon). AND all four candles are lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent. The fourth candle stands for LOVE.

Everyone knows that Christmas is on December 25--but the season of CHRISTMASTIDE (liturgical color is white) goes from the 25th through January 5. During Christmastide, a large WHITE candle is lit signifying the birth of the Christ child. This is the 'official' Twelve Days of Christmas. This is why many Christians leave up their Christmas decorations until January 6.

EPIPHANY (using the liturgical color green) begins on January 6th. It is the time when the Wise Men visited the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. They followed the star--so the real significance of Epiphany is 'light.' The word Epiphany itself means "showing forth." The light from the Star of Bethlehem and the light of Christ spread throughout the world during Epiphany.

Epiphany is also a time to remember Christ's baptism--and our own, together with the ways in which Christ was revealed to humankind, especially in the healing miracles. It is a time to ponder the ways in which we ourselves are called to bring Christ to the world.

The number of Sundays in the Epiphany season varies from four to nine according to the date of Easter Sunday (which is a movable date derived from the lunar calendar). This year there will be six (January 7- Feb. 16).

I will present one more post on the Christian Year.. In the meantime though, Happy ADVENT. Let's all do what we need to do to anticipate the birth of Christ, which is the REAL meaning of Christmas.

+++++++++
On another note, George and I had a wonderful hiking and 'waterfalling' trip... We saw at least 16 new waterfalls this past weekend. Below is one picture of the first waterfall we saw on Thanksgiving afternoon while visiting our good friend Reida. More pictures from our trip will be forthcoming.

Bays Mountain Falls (near Church Hill, TN)

Hope everyone had a great weekend ---and all of you have 'walked off' all of that big Thanksgiving feast!!!!
Hugs,

P.S. Be sure and read my "Thirty Days of Thanksgivings" on my sidebar --before I take it off.

48 comments:

Kirigalpoththa said...

Interesting post..I learn something new!

I must say that Bays Mountain Falls is beautiful!

♥Kathy♥ said...

That waterfall is beautiful. Looks like you and George had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I grew up in the SBC so this was interesting to read about Advent. Great post Betsy.

Jayne said...

What a nice post about the Christian calendar year Betsy! Wasn't it nice to say goodbye to Pentecost? :c)

Pam said...

I have never seen the Christian calendar in a pie chart before!

Pam said...

I have never seen the Christian calendar in a pie chart before!

Deb Murphree/Alabama Politics said...

That was quite interesting, Betsy Boo! I'm glad to see you and George enjoyed your trip to Virginia too. I miss Virginia so much :( Can't wait to visit again next year. Hopefully we can stop by and see you all, or if we can't, maybe you can meet us at the interstate LOL..(a lot depends on what my brother wants to do since I pick him up and he rides with us as well. Merry Christmas girlie!!

Kelly said...

Betsy, I love this post. We follow the same calendar, and I leave my tree up until after the Three Kings arrive. I look forward to your other Advent posts. I never saw the pie chart before, but I love it. I didn't realize it was so balanced! Great idea...

Beth said...

Hi there, Betsy! I'm so glad you and George had a happy and safe trip. That's a lovely waterfall picture---I look forward to seeing more. I enjoyed reading about the tradition of Advent. I grew up in small, country Southern Baptist churches where we didn't observe Advent, but I love the tradition and am considering getting our own Advent wreath. Thanks for sharing this interesting and enlightening post.

Arkansas Patti said...

Well I did learn something today. Thank you from a backslid Episcopalian.
Beautiful falls. Hard to believe you found so many new ones. Till you and George, I had no idea there were so many. Keep hiking and taking us with you.

T said...

Fascinating!

Beautiful waterfall - as always!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love a nice pie chart...this explains things perfectly. I was always a bit confused about the advent season and the colors at our church as a kid...I recall our Methodist misiters changing the color of their robes..this all makes sense now!!!

Darla said...

Wonderful info here. You are a doll to post such detail for all to learn about this wonderful time of the year!!

Peggy said...

Thanks for sharing about Advent. I knew some but not alot so your post was interesting. Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Susie said...

Hey Betsy! Thanks for the info on Advent. I had not seen a wreath celebrating this before until a couple of years ago at a new church we attended. They had the wreath and lit a new candle each week.

Glad you and George had a good Thanksgiving and found new "falls". I know you enjoyed that.

Wendy said...

I love love love your header!!! It is gorgeous! Thank you for enlightening me on Advent and the rest of the Christian year. I enjoy reading about other beliefs and thought Advent was only for catholics.

You take such good pics of waterfalls and this one is stunning! It's easy to see how much you enjoy life!

Ida from South Africa said...

Only know about Advent - precious times... - thanks for all the info! GOD IS GREAT!!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Good morning, Betsy. A lovely idea to keep these traditions fresh in everyone's minds.

I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. I had a wonderful, long holiday too.
Marnie

Sandra said...

thanks for the info on Advent, i learned a few things I did not know, like which days are the 12 days of Christmas. this waterfall is my favorite of all the ones you have posted. i like the way the Big Rocks have lines that looked like they were stacked that way millions of years ago. almost like the buttes in Wyoming

Tricia said...

16 new waterfalls?!!! Sounds you two were very busy! Glad to hear you had a great time

Dorothy said...

I like to see the Christian calendar as it is displayed in this pie-chart. Jeep and I had the honor doing the Advent reading and lighting the first Advent candle at Lebanon UMC yesterday. I love this time of year!

Becky said...

Glad you had a great time on your trip.God to have you back!

Did you watch the game? I am so glad our Vols won!

NCmountainwoman said...

It's so hard to believe yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent. Where does the time go?

Loved the waterfall and look forward to the next 15. Wow! What a successful trip.

Mary said...

I grew up Lutheran and used to know all of this, but now go to a church that doesn't celebrate any of the seasonal rituals...I sort of miss it. Part of me likes rituals and part of me doesn't, but they have a purpose moving us from one season to the next just like in nature. That is a gorgeous waterfall!

Sunny said...

Thank you Betsy for the wonderful post.
That's a beautiful waterfall, can't wait to see more.
Sunny :)

Cheryl said...

I like the header photo. It brought back memories of Advent when I was younger. We always had an Advent wreath at home and each Sunday lit one candle.

The waterfall was so beautiful! Your legs must be a wee bit tired after seeing 16 new waterfalls!

SmilingSally said...

My church is one that doesn't practice the Advent traditions, so I thank you for the background, Betsy.

imac said...

Love the falls, very photogenic.
To be honest, we havent done a thing yet to be ready for Christmas, it seems that shops start in September(way to soon).

Janie said...

Beautiful waterfall! I'm glad you saw so many and had a fun time. Thanks for the refresher on Advent.

from our front porch... said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for reminding what Christmas is really about!
Awesome waterfalls, too! Where is Church Hill?
Blessings, Misha

storyteller said...

Timely and informative post about the season of Advent. It's hard to imagine seeing 16 waterfalls in a single weekend let alone NEW ones to you and George. Of course, water is a scarce commodity in Southern California even in the best of times and with the drought we've been experiencing the past few years, it's even worse. I do enjoy all the lovely waterfall photos both you and George share ;-)

I've shared a lovely rose at Small Reflections and a mosaic of wonderful sunset views from last week at Sacred Ruminations.
Hugs and blessings,

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

I do like the waterfalls. Beautiful photo.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I am glad to hear you had a good time,of course I knew you would.I appreciate the focus on Advent,all too often all we hear about is Santa and forget the real meaning of Christmas.
Blessings,Ruth

Karin said...

Thanks for sharing all about the Christian calendar year Betsy! Love Advent and grew up with the beauty of a fresh evergreen wreath and the lovely candles! Enjoyed your previous posts too and did read your 30 days of thanksgiving!

Deborah Godin said...

Gald you enjoyed yourselves! Another wonderful fall of water, you should write a book about waterfalls!

Betty said...

I didn't know about Advent.It is nice to learn somthing new.
I love that waterfall it is lovely.
~~ Hugs~~

PS How is your friend Susan doing?
I say prayers for her.

Marge said...

Hi Betsy - thanks so much for the wonderful info about the Christian Year and meanings of the candles. Sometimes we all need a little reminder to remember what Christmas is really all about! Happy Advent!

Valerie said...

What a beautiful waterfall. So glad you were able to hike and enjoy the outdoors over the weekend.
Your post is so interesting - although a Christian my whole life - we are one of those groups that haven't followed the Christian Calendar. And it is so interesting to learn about. Sometimes I think if we participated in the advent season - there would be more focus on the true meaning of Christmas. I may just get a wreath for home and try to do that with my family this year.

Tammie Lee said...

such a gorgeous photo of a waterfall! I love mac computers too! So much to be thankful for. so much.

thesouthernlady64 said...

I learned a lot from this post. It was very interesting. Also, enjoyed 30 days of Thanksgiving and love the header. I have not walked off the meals yet but sure need to lose a few pounds.

Cicero Sings said...

An interesting post in deed.

16 new waterfalls ... what kind of a windfall was that?! Glad you had such a lovely Thanksgiving weekend and that you have that great list of things to be thankful for!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

That's an interesting waterfall: does it go straight into the ground?

JOE TODD said...

Appreciate the info concerning the church calendar and advent. A backsliding Luteran needs all the help he can get. So here is to ya and may your Water Fall straight

Diane said...

Thanks for your information on Advent, Betsy. I agree with one of the other gals who commented, you really should do a waterfall book.

Cookie said...

16 waterfalls?! I'm glad the weather cooperated for your trip.
Welcome home!

SquirrelQueen said...

Advent and the Christian calendar are something I have heard of but never researched, thanks for the information Betsy.

16 new waterfalls, wow that's amazing! This one is gorgeous and I look forward to seeing the others.

Judy

Daisy said...

Good reminders in this post, Betsy. With all the leftovers from Thanksgiving, I think I still need to do some more walking! :D

diane said...

Thanks for bringing me up to date with the Christain Calendar. I'm a bit rusty in that department. 16 new waterfalls! That must have been exciting for you. The photos are great.

Pat - Arkansas said...

A very clear explanation of Advent & Epiphany in the Christian Year, Betsy. I love the Advent Wreath photo in your header. Lovely! Our church's wreath is up, and the first candle was lit this past Sunday. Our little church uses blue vestments and hangings for Advent, but our candles are purple, pink and white, just as you described.