At St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School, we celebrate the four weeks leading up to Christmas through the Christian practice of Advent.
Popular culture has turned Advent into a countdown of chocolate calendars before receiving presents on Christmas morning.
However, Advent is much more than that in the Catholic faith. Advent comes from the Latin word meaning “coming.”
This year, Advent begins on Dec. 3, and we use this time to prepare for the first coming of Jesus Christ through his birth.
At St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, we have Advent wreaths in every room with four candles.
As is the practice of the Catholic faith, the Advent wreath has three purple candles and one rose candle that represent different themes for each week.
The purple candles are used in weeks one, two, and four, while the rose candle is used in week three. During the purple weeks, themes of hope, love and peace are examined through penitence (examination of one’s own conscience through prayer, fasting and reflection).
During the rose coloured third week, the theme of joy is celebrated, and on the Sunday (also known as Gaudete Sunday) the penitence can be broken and a joyous celebration can take place.
During the Christmas season, it is important for our students to realize the true meaning of the holiday.
We need to give like Christ gave, and love like Christ loved. It is not about presents, but instead about God’s presence in our lives.
David Griffin is the assistant principal at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School.