Advent-Is the beginning of the new liturgical year. While Advent is sort of like the Lent of Christmas, there are differences between the two penitential seasons. Advent focuses more on thanksgiving, likening our earthly harvest with the heavenly harvest at the end of the age. Light plays a major role in Advent. In the northern hemisphere the days are getting shorter—darkness creeps in. The winter cold does not help with our feelings of loneliness, depression, and despair! But as we prepare the inns of our hearts for the Messiah, we light candles to vanquish the darkness. The closer we get to Christ’s coming in the world, the more light radiates. *This is in part why the Advent colors may be different than when you were a kid. In order to emphasize the connection between Advent and Lent, violet became the color for both seasons. In recent years, many churches have switched to blue, the ancient color of hope and Mary’s color.
Christmas-Originally, December 25th was thought to be the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. This was the perfect day to celebrate Christ’s birth (often time with a midnight Christ-Mass). The world longs to hear these words from John’s Gospel on Christmas Day: What has come into being in him was life and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. Contrary to our inpatient and frenzied culture, Christmas begins on Christmas Day and continues through January 5th--there really are 12 Days of Christmas! The color for this major feast day is white and gold.
Epiphany-Always on January 6th, many countries throughout the world have Epiphany Day off as it is considered a sort of a second Christmas. This makes sense since this is the day the Three Wise Men come to give gifts to Jesus, revealing to the world that the God of Israel is for all nations, not just the Children of Abraham. A short worship service (30 min.) will be held at noon at Bethany and a fuller service will be at Traditions in Frederic at 6:00pm. While the colors for Epiphany Day, Baptism of our Lord Sunday, and Transfiguration Sunday are white, there are a few Sundays in Epiphany that are considered part of Ordinary Time and as such they are green.
All are welcome to journey with us to the Christ Child this holy-day season.
See the schedule below: