First Sunday of Advent is Dec. 3
It’s time to dust off the wreaths and find the purple and pink candles, Advent is on the next page of the calendar.
Sunday, Dec. 3, is the first Sunday of Advent this year. The season continues through Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24.
This year, because Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, that day is not only the fourth Sunday of Advent, it is also the Vigil of Christmas.
And, yes, the Sunday obligation to attend Mass and the Christmas obligation to attend Mass must be fulfilled with two different Masses.
The origins of the Advent wreath are uncertain, but was probably adopted from a Scandinavian practice looking forward to longer, warmer days. Christians adopted the tradition in the Middle Ages with John 3:19-21 in mind:
“And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”