As you read the postings of HOPE ARRIVES! for the first time, questions of purpose and history may pop into your mind. You may be wondering to yourself, "What is Advent?"
The purpose of Advent is often to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus by commemorating the His First Coming at Christmas. With the view of directing the thoughts of Christmas to the first coming of Jesus as Savior and His second coming as Judge, special readings are prescribed for each of the four Sundays in Advent.
In recent times the most common observance of Advent outside the church circles has been the keeping of an Advent calendar or Advent candle, with one door being opened in the calendar, or one section of the candle being burned on each day leading up to Christmas Eve. The keeping of an Advent wreath is also a common practice, with four or five candles extending from the wreath.