Advent comes from the Latin Advenio "to come" the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Christ. The coming of the saviour, the birth of Emmanuel, God with us.
In Eastern Orthodox churches — where it is also called the Nativity Fast, Winter Lent, or the Christmas Lent — it lasts forty days, beginning on November 17. The Celtic tradition coincides with the beginging of the Eastern Orthodox celibration of advent.
In Western Christianity, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The earliest Advent can begin is November 27 and the latest is December 3.
Advent ends on December 24 before the Vigil of Christmas (the evening of December 24).
In the evening instead of our compline before retiring we light our advent candle and and recite an advent prayer. Starting the last week of advent, the 17th of December we begin the traditional last week evening prayer.
for more general info on Advent go to
for a Protestant prospective on Advent
for more info on Celtic Advent and Advent traditions go to
photo by b culver