Today Advent begins! The first Advent Sunday is also the beginning of the new liturgical Church year. To mark the beginning of Advent, we set up an Advent wreath, our Christmas tree and the outdoor fairy lights.
Today we lightened the first candle of the advent wreath. Each following Sunday we will lighten one more candle.
Within Catholic tradition there are five candles with these liturgical colours: three are purple, symbolizing the awaiting of Jesus Christ, both his birth and his second coming - a time of repentance and fast, one is pink for Gaudete Sunday, which reminds us of the joy during repentance, and finally a white candle symbolizing the purity and light of Christ.
Each week we lighten one more candle. The white one will be lit on Christmas, the Birth of Christ.
It is the last Sunday before Advent begins. This is also the last Sunday of the Church year, the last week of ordinary time in the liturgical calendar. This solemnity reminds us that Jesus Christ is true king of earth and heaven.
The 2nd of November is All Souls' Day. This is when the Church remembers those who have gone before us - relatives, friends, neighbours. You can visit the graveyard all year through, but November is a special time for doing so. You can lighten a candle at a grave and say a prayer for someone you knew or for all who are lying at the graveyard.