St Vincent de Paul
The Parish of St Vincent de Paul is located in East Kilbride and is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Motherwell.
The Liturgical Season of Advent
Advent is a season on the Church’s liturgical calendar. The importance of this season remains to focus on the coming of our Lord. (Advent comes from the Latin adventus, meaning coming.) We tend to think of Advent only as the season in which we prepare for Christmas, or the First Coming of Christ, but, it is important that we also remember it as a celebration in which we look forward to the Second Coming of Christ.
Therefore, on one hand, the faithful reflect back and are encouraged to celebrate the anniversary of the Lords first coming into this world. We ponder again the great mystery of the incarnation when our Lord humbled Himself, taking on our humanity, to free us from sin. On the other hand, we recall in the Creed that our Lord will come again to judge the living and the dead and that we must be ready to meet Him.
There are always four Sundays in Advent, though not necessarily four full weeks. The liturgical colour of the season is violet or purple, except on the Third Sunday of Advent, called Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, when optional rose vestments may be worn. The Gloria is not recited during Advent liturgies, but the Alleluia is retained.
To help us in our Advent preparation we use an Advent wreath. The wreath is a circle, which has no beginning or end: So we call to mind how our lives, here and now, participate in the eternity of Gods plan of salvation and how we hope to share eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Three candles are purple, symbolizing penance, preparation, and sacrifice; the pink candle symbolizes the same but highlights the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, when we rejoice because our preparation is now half-way finished.
The light represents Christ, who entered this world to scatter the darkness of evil and show us the way of righteousness. The progression of lighting candles shows our increasing readiness to meet our Lord.
In all, during Advent we strive to fufill our longing for Christ our Saviour and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of His coming may find us rejoicing in His presence and welcoming the light of His truth.