Origins of Advent

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According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Advent began sometime after the 4th century as a time of preparation for Epiphany, and not in anticipation of Christmas. Epiphany celebrates the manifestation of Christ by remembering the visit of the wise men and, in some traditions, the Baptism of Jesus. At this time new Christians were baptised and received into the faith, and so the early church instituted a 40-day period of fasting and repentance.

Later, in the 6th century, St. Gregory the Great was the first to associate this season of Advent with the coming of Christ. Originally it was not the coming of the Christ-child that was anticipated, but the Second Coming of Christ.

By the Middle Ages, the church had extended the celebration of Advent to include the coming of Christ through his birth in Bethlehem, his future coming at the end of time, and his presence among us through the promised Holy Spirit. Modern-day Advent services include symbolic customs related to all three of these “advents” of Christ.

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Hi! Guys! I am Fr. Jefferson Bennit, a Catholic Priest belonging to the Roman Catholic Church. I am passionate about proclaiming the WORD OF GOD through online media. My field of interest are related to Bible study, Christian Theology, Faith, Spirituality, etc. I write Christian articles and blogs, while doing my active ministry in an interior diocese placed in one of the remote parts of India.

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