Welcome to ST BARTHOLOMEW AND ALL SAINTS CHURCH,
Royal Wootton Bassett
A Christian presence at the heart of the community for over 750 years.
“We seek to grow through prayer and share Christ’s love through engagement with all”
The Advent Season
For Christians who observe the liturgical calendar, Advent is the Church Season before Christmas. For Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and other Protestant denominations the observance of the Advent Season occurs over four Sundays before Christmas.
Our English word ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin word ‘Adventus’, which means arrival. In the Latin Vulgate of Jerome, this was the word used to translate the Greek word Parousia, which in the New Testament refers to the Second Coming of Christ.
So in Advent we take time to wait and reflect on two Advents. The first Advent is the Nativity, the birth of Christ and the subsequent Christmas celebrations and the joy that’s brings us. We also focus our eyes on the Second Coming the time when Christ will return. As we know neither the time when our own lives will end, or when Jesus will return, we should always be prepared for these events.
Advent used to be known as a ‘Little Lent’ or St. Martin’s Lent as early as the fifth century. Like Lent we use the colour purple to express repentance. You may visit the cathedral and see blue altar frontals, this is from the old English ‘Sarum rite’; the time before uniformity was fashionable; our diocese had its own idea of seasonal colouring and blue was its colour of repentance. Our Advent wreath has three purple candles (for repentance),
one pink, and one white for Christmas Day. The pink candle is for Gaudete (Joy) Sunday: rose-
Advent has historically been a time for reflection and prayer to prepare for the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem. It is his coming into the world that will save us from our sins as his death and resurrection accomplished.
The scriptures tell us that Jesus has promised to return (John 14: 1-
‘To judge the living and the dead’, and ‘Whose kingdom shall have no end’.
Let us therefore prepare for this coming celebration by readying our hearts and lives for him.
Advent is the official start of the church’s yearly calendar. In Advent it can be a struggle to remain focused on the Advent theme of expectant wait-
family eating the Passover – whose house this year? These things will distract us from our spiritual preparations if we allow them to. However, there is a lot of literature available to take us daily through the season of Advent, to help us stay focused on preparing for Christ’s coming.
We start off the Advent season with a ‘Songs of Praise Service’ on Sunday 1st December at 4pm.
Or you could join us on weekdays for Morning Prayer at 9.15am for a quiet time of prayer and reflection before the day’s shopping starts.
(Wednesday 10.30am communion service).
We can always take ‘a little extra’ into our prayer life as we await the Messiah’s birth.
When it arrives may you all have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year.
Michael Page LLM