Background notes for teachers

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The Advent/Christmas – Loving theme considers Christians’ preparation for the gift of God’s love in Jesus which is celebrated by Christians at Christmas. It focuses on the witness of loving as a way of life.

The season of Advent and the three-fold coming

Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s year. The word ADVENT comes from the Latin word

‘adventus’ which means ‘arrival’, ‘coming’ or ‘a drawing near’. During Advent, Christians focus on preparing for a three-fold coming.

  • The coming of Christ in history (the birth of Jesus which we celebrate on December 25) and a remembrance of how the people of God waited expectantly for the Messiah;

  • How Advent encourages believers to prepare to meet Jesus who comes every day in their lives;

  • That believers wait in joyful expectation for Jesus to come again in glory at the end of time (the Second Coming).

Therefore Advent affirms that

  • Christ has come

  • He is present in the world today

  • He will come again in power. (The Second Coming is explored in Y6 Learning Focus 6 - ‘Christ will come again’. Waiting in joyful hope is covered in Y5).

Advent is a time of waiting in joyful hope for the coming of Jesus into the world. It is also a penitential season; one that prepares Christians for the Second Coming (hence the liturgical colour of the season is purple). Advent has a strong, positive message. Simply put it is – ‘get ready’! Or as the Scriptures put it – ‘prepare the way of the Lord’. For Catholics the call to work for charity and the common good are heightened during Advent. It is a time of renewal, personal growth and transformation.

The four Sundays before Christmas Day are known as the four Sundays of Advent. The themes for each week of Advent are: ‘Wake up’! ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’, ‘Rejoice’ and’ Emmanuel is with us’. These are sometimes translated as hope, love, joy, and peace.
The symbols, prayers and readings of the season help Christians to reflect on God’s love which is made known in the wonderful gift of Jesus. You can learn more about these and the Christmas Season in Church’s Story 3 pp86-96 as well as through the content explored in the Come and See books.

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