Advent is the first season of the church year. It begins with the Sunday that comes nearest to St. Andrew’s Day which is celebrated on November 30th. The season of Advent varies from year to year with the length varying from 22 to 28 days. Advent ends on Christmas Eve. The season is always marked by having 4 Sundays.
But just where and how did Advent begin? The history of Advent dates back to the early Christian Church. Some claim it even dates back to the time of the Apostles. There have been difference observances associated with Advent over the years. There are references to periods of fasting – with either a daily fast or fasting several times per week.
Advent is similar to Lent in that it is a penitential season. Our hearts are penitent as we prepare for the coming of Christ. Advent means coming in at least threes senses:
- The coming of Christ in the Flesh as we commemorate at Christmas.
- The coming of Christ in Word and Spirit, to be pondered throughout the church year (remember Advent is the beginning of the church year).
- The coming of Christ in glory at the end of time.
The reading from St. Matthew sets the keynote for the season of Advent:
When creating church embroidery and vestments in the Ecclesiastical Sewing Studios, we announce the coming of Christ, not with words, but with images and symbols. There are many symbols for Christ which are drawn from the writings of the prophets. Such symbols bring to mind Christ’s appearance and the long wait and expectation for the prophecies to be fulfilled. The symbols often serve as a springboard to aid our meditation on the Coming of Christ.
One such symbol is the Dayspring or O’Oriens Antiphon for December 21.
O Dayspring, Splendor of Light Everlasting and Sun of Righteousness: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
From the prophet Isaiah we have:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. Isaiah 9:2
O Rising Star is the translation from Latin. For a more poetic variation, the phrase O Morning Star or O Dayspring. The above Ecclesiastical embroidery design may be used for hand embroidery or for making church banners or vestments for the season of Advent. The design is perfect for goldwork hand embroidery. For a PDF file of the design, click on the link below.
PDF file for Rising sun IHS
Advent and the time of preparation for celebrating Christ’s birth will soon be here. Pause and take time to prepare – your King Cometh!
Soli Deo Gloria