Wednesday, 7 December 2011
The word ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin ‘Adventus’ meaning ‘Coming’ or ‘Arrival’, and was established in the Sixth Century by Pope Gregory.
For the Orthodox Church, Advent (also known as ‘Winter Lent’, ‘Nativity Fast’ or ‘St. Phillip’s Fast’) begins 40 days before Christmas, during which time such things as alcohol, fish, meat and dairy products are slowly cut out of their daily intake, along with popular entertainment such as television. Orthodox Christians believe that Advent is a time for peace and quiet reflection, leading up to the celebrations of Christmas.
Before the establishment of the Christian Advent, Romans commonly used the term ‘Adventus’ to refer to the celebrated coming of the Roman Emperor.