The Advent season has begun. To Christians it represents a time of expectations and preparation for Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Jesus.
Advent wreaths, symbols of expectation, have already been prepared in many churches and homes. The first of the four candles on the wreath was lit yesterday. Another candle is lit every Sunday. The wreath has also been widely accepted by non-believers.
The wreath is made out of evergreen branches, which tell about the life and arrival of Jesus Christ. The candles are supposed to be violet or white. The violet colour represents hope and is more commonly used during the Advent season. The gradual lighting of the candles, every next Sunday, brings more light to the area and symbolizes the growth of goodness. Advent wreaths are to be made without any additional decorations in order to highlight the symbolism. The Advent season comes to an end in the week following the fourth Sunday on Christmas Eve, on the 24th of December.
St. Peter decorations with a Slovene touch
Prior to and during the holiday it will be especially solemn at the Vatican, in the center of the Roman Catholic Church. This year, once again, Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican will also be decorated by Sabina Šegula andPeter Ribič from the Biotechnical Centre Naklo. Ribič told the STA news agency that they will travel to the Vatican on the 20th of December and return home for Christmas. They will take part in preparing all the decorations inside the basilica for the Christmas Mass. The two usually also decorate the balcony for the Pope’s Urbi et Orbi blessing.
The start of the liturgical year for Catholics and Evangelists
For believers, during the Advent, much more important than the external preparations are the spiritual preparations for the upcoming holiday. It consists of personal prayers, the receiving of the sacraments, fasting and doing good deeds. With the first Advent Sunday the new liturgical year also begins, both in the Evangelical Church and the Catholic Church.
Some Orthodox Christians, among them members of the Serbian Orthodox Church, use the Julian calendar and celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January. They prepare for Christmas with a Christmas fasting period, which began on Friday. In that period they are not supposed to eat any meat (except fish) or dairy products.