Liturgical churches take Advent seriously, with time for reflection and repentance
BY BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Saturday, December 08, 2012
12/08/12 at 5:02 AM
Churches across the city began a season of special services, concerts, dramatic presentations, pageants and other events this week in observance of Advent, the period leading up to Christmas.
Although nearly all churches celebrate the Christmas season, liturgical churches like Catholic, Episcopal and Lutheran typically take Advent more seriously.
"American culture and the church are not in sync at this time of year," said the Rev. Christian Tiews, associate pastor of Grace Lutheran Church.
"The culture wants to celebrate Christmas early, even before Thanksgiving, and then by Dec. 26 it's all over," he said.
In liturgical churches, Advent is a time of waiting, of quiet reflection.
"It's a miniature Lent, a small season of repentance," he said.
"That flies in the face of the world's jubilation."
During Advent, many liturgical churches do not sing Christmas carols, and do not display Christmas lights. Clergy wear purple or sometimes blue. Candles on an Advent wreath are lit at services, one more candle each week.
Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas each year, a day that also marks the beginning of the new church year. This year it fell on Dec. 2.
Tiews said the word Advent comes from a Latin word that means "the coming," and the season focuses on Christ coming in his birth at Christmas, his death and resurrection, and his anticipated second coming.
On Christmas Eve, Advent ends and the more joyful 12-day celebration of Christmas begins.
"We distinguish between the season of Advent and Christmas," he said, "and in so doing, we penetrate deeper into the preparation for Christmas rather than lumping the two together and overlooking the penitential side."
Evangelical and other less liturgical churches generally put less emphasis on the Advent season as a time of preparation and repentance.
Original Print Headline: Liturgical churches take Advent seriously
Bill Sherman 918-581-8398
The Oklahoma Baptist Home for Children’s free Christmas pageant
will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 12700 E.
76th St. North. Guests will receive a CD of children narrating the
scenes to listen to as they drive through the display. Courtesy