Photo: Anne Nygard on Unsplash

Photo: Anne Nygard on Unsplash

Traditions and Customs of Advent

By Elizabeth Stephens Holy Trinity Catholic Church

It’s December the season of Advent the beginning of a new Liturgical year in the church amidst the 2nd wave of COVID where the weather is getting colder and the pandemic seems to be getting worse with new cases each day.

Advent has many meanings from “arrival, waiting, anticipation, preparing, reflection, and longing.”

Traditionally Advent is celebrated with the Advent Wreath.

An evergreen circle of greenery, representing the eternal love of God along with, three purple and one rose or pink candle which are lit one a week for four weeks and the themes Love, Peace, Joy and Hope.

In stores you see Advent Calendars of different types.

Some with 24 pieces of chocolate in each window others with images.

A unique tradition is the Jesse Tree, which traces God’s Path dating back as far as the middle ages. There are 25 symbolic symbols of Christianity which are hung on a simple tree each day of the week.

Some of these are; an apple – the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, a rainbow – Noah’s Ark and the great flood, a Ladder – Jacob’s Dream, a coat of many colors – Joseph and God’s providence, two stone tablets – 10 commandments – God’s laws, a large whale – Jonah and the Whale to a manger representing the birth of Jesus.

The colour purple symbolizes the hearts of the gathered community in renewing their sense of desire to see and know Christ when he comes again.

It also symbolizes Royalty of a king as well as sorrow, sadness and repentance.

This is a time for a change of heart to ask for forgiveness and show mercy. Don’t wait to welcome him in, make room for him now, look at how we are living our lives, examine what needs changing, seek forgiveness for our sins, reach out to those in need and be mindful of those less fortunate than ourselves.

Do we have room in our “inn” for the people who really care in our lives, do we check on our neighbours, family and friends during this fast paced time of hustle and bustle, and isolation, fear and loneliness of this pandemic.

Take the time to talk and listen to those around you and especially to God as he will bring clarity in these stressful challenging times.

God wants us all to be happy with joyful hearts and to remove any obstacles that keep us from his love. One way in acting in God’s Love is donating to the Gifts of Hope and or the Snowflakes.

These gifts are for the marginalized, those in poverty, on the fringe of society, or even our neighbour whose housebound or alone, so they can also celebrate the wonder of Christmas from the generosity of a giving heart.

We wait in blessed hope that Jesus will `come illuminating our darkness forever and that the joy of his birth will bring God’s kingdom of justice, love and peace in all its fullness.

We light the wreath candles in anticipation of his coming.

We decorate and light our trees and homes to dispel the darkness outside. It’s difficult to make time in the darkness, cold and silence of winter in nature to remember all humanity’s built-in longing for the light of the world.

One candle burning bright chasing away the darkness from light.

Take your candle and be the Light of the World.

Keep the Light of Christ as the true center and meaning of Christmas.

“The Lord is my Light and my Salvation” Psalm 27.

Elizabeth Stephens

Holy Trinity Catholic Church


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Chris Kobelka
Trail Smoke Eaters recruit top prospects

Trail Smoke Eaters building for future in 17-year-old defencemen Joel Barton and Chris Kobelka

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Energy consultant Michèle Deluca and city building inspector Sam Ellison are researching how to account for embodied carbon when calculating a new building’s carbon footprint. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson researches climate impact of embodied carbon in new buildings

Embodied carbon is the footprint of the manufacture and transport of building materials

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in waters south of Vancouver Island

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes confirms 1st death amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

B.C. teacher gets 1 day suspension after ‘aggressively’ throwing dumbbell at student

Documents show the weight would have hit the student if they didn’t catch it

Most Read