For many churches, today, November 29, 2009 is celebrated as the first Sunday of Advent. Examples of such churches are Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, and Anglican (Episcopal). Beginning on the Sunday closest to November 30 (St. Andrews Day), this day marks the beginning season of Advent, i.e. the birth of Christ, and ends on Christmas Eve. The First Sunday of Advent also signifies the start of the liturgical or ecclesiastical year for many Christian religions. Many churches in the Anchorage area will mark this day with special services. Additionally, you will notice an increasing number of celebrations during this season leading up to the Advent.
Celebrated for 1,500 years, it was initially strictly observed with penitence, but has gradually become more joyful in celebration of Christ's coming, and in preparation for His Second Coming.
As I enter this season of Advent, I request my Christian brethren to join me in sharing the anticipation of celebrating again the birth of Christ and the hope brought to mankind through the true meaning of His incarnation. I thank those Churches and Christians who have been guiding lights and examples of God's love during the past year. During this season, I'll visit and reflect on various church expressions of the Advent, sharing them on this blog.