This week we begin a new liturgical year in the Church with the season of Advent. The word Advent is derived from the Latin adventus which means "coming" and is associated with the four weeks of preparation for Christmas.
Advent always contains four Sundays, beginning on the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, (November 30) and continuing until December 24. It blends together a penitential spirit, very similar to Lent, a liturgical theme of preparation for the Second and Final Coming of the Jesus, called the Parousia, and a joyful theme of getting ready for the Bethlehem event.
Often, I think that we miss Advent's power because these December weeks are full of Christmas parties and preparations for Christmas. Each year, the busyness of this season serves to distract us from having an Advent season that truly prepares us for the celebration of Christmas, with all its meaning.
Advent is a season where we allow our deepest longing, our core incompleteness to be completely exposed. So, it is for us, important to consider how we can grow in spiritual wholeness during such a busy commercial season. And there are many ways we can do this – from the lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath to the opening of Advent calendars and setting up of our Nativity scenes in our home and churches.
This year at ACU, we also have the opportunity to celebrate the season of Advent by taking part in the Reverse Advent Calendar appeal.
Reverse Advent Calendars promote the act of giving through small acts of kindness for those in need. Instead of taking a chocolate each day, the Reverse Advent Calendar encourages staff to make donations of food items to those in need.
These donations will be received by individuals and families who cannot afford to celebrate Christmas.
Take part in the Reverse Advent Calendar appeal at your Campus in December and help to spread Christmas cheer in the lead up to Christmas.
Details of the Reverse Advent Calendar appeal at each campus have been sent to staff on each campus via email.
If you have any questions regarding this initiative, please contact Campus Ministry staff members on your campus or ACU Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your generosity. May this time of preparation be joy filled for you all.