This coming Sunday is Advent Sunday. Traditionally, it is the beginning of the church's year, a time when the start the cycle of telling the Christian story all over again. Advent is the period before Christmas when we remember the first coming of Jesus Christ. It is also a time when we consider the challenge of the second coming of Christ at the end of history and the need to live in the way of Jesus until that time. It is supposed to be a time of reflection and waiting, a time when we are called to be vigilant in understanding the times in which we live.
Many churches have an Advent Ring with five candles; one purple candle to be lit for each Sunday in Advent (some churches exchange the fourth purple candle for a pink one to symbolise Mary, whose role in the preparation for Christmas is always celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Advent) and then the final white one to be lit on Christmas Day.
I commend Advent to everyone as a healthy and wholesome way to prepare for Christmas.