What is advent?
The word advent means "arrival" or "coming." Each year Christians all over the world celebrate the coming or the arrival of our Lord Jesus that one amazing night in Bethlehem. While advent is certainly a time of Christmas celebration, it also serves as an anticipation for Christ's second coming - when He returns for His bride (the church) and defeats Satan and all things evil once and for all. Advent serves as an important reminder to all people that God is faithful to His promise. He sent His One and only Son just as He said He would, and we wait for Him to do it again.
Tradition & practice of advent
There are a variety of ways to celebrate the advent season depending on one's tradition and background. The advent season traditionally lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Many people use an advent calendar or some sort of way to check off the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Another popular tradition is marking the progression of the season through an advent wreath made up of five candles. The five candles represent key features throughout the Gospels. In some traditions the candles can represent: Prophecy, Bethlehem, Shepherds, Angels and Christ; while in others it can represent Hope, Faith, Joy, Peace, and Light (that is Christ). In either tradition the centerpiece of the advent wreath is the last candle which is to be lit on Christmas Eve. Regardless of one's tradition, advent is a significant time in the life of the church. It’s an opportunity for believers to remember God’s promise, to give Him all the praise, and to remember that another advent is still yet to take place.