Advent – Te Wā o Aweneti
The significance of Advent
The New Zealand National Liturgy Office says that Advent has a twofold character: “as a time to prepare for the solemnity of Christmas when the Son of God’s first coming to us is remembered, and as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time.”
The word “advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means “coming” or “arrival.” The readings during Advent reflect themes of waiting, longing and hoping for the coming of Jesus.
These themes are also reflected in the symbolism of the candles that are lit each week during advent. Traditionally, there are three purples (representing Hope, Love and Peace) and one pink candle (representing Joy). The progressive lighting of the candles also symbolises the expectation and hope of the season.
Weekly Advent Prayer Resources
Looking to dive deeper into advent this year?
Scroll below to access our each of our weekly United in Prayer resources that lead you through a short time of prayer reflecting on the Scriptures through Word and song.
First Sunday in Advent
In this first week of advent, as we light the candle, we focus on the theme of hope.
This weeks Gospel reminds us that this season is about more than our preparation for the Church’s celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas. Advent is also about preparing ourselves for Christ’s return in glory at the end of time.
Second Sunday in Advent
As we light the candle for the second week of advent, we focus on the theme of love.
In this weeks Gospel we are invited to reflect upon the role of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus and the salvation that he would bring to us.
Third Sunday in Advent
In the second week of advent, we light the pink candle and focus on the theme of joy.
This Sunday’s Gospel invites us to continue our reflection on the person and mission of John the Baptist. The third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete, a Latin word which means “rejoice,” is taken from the entrance antiphon for Sunday’s Mass.
Fourth Week of Advent
On the fourth week, we light the final candle which symbolises peace.
This Sunday we read the story of the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary about the birth of Jesus and the liturgy shifts our attention from John the Baptist to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Days until Christmas