What is Advent?

The Christian year begins with Advent. The season of Advent (from a Latin root meaning “coming” or “arrival”) runs through the four Sundays before Christmas. Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ in to the world, which traditionally both looks back to the first coming of Christ and also looks forward to the second coming or return of Christ.

These four weeks, like the six of Lent which formed a model for Advent as a liturgical device, are traditionally associated with spiritual disciplines of repentance, fasting and waiting and are characterized by attitudes of longing and hope.

The movement of Advent is also a rich journey through the Bible. Each of the weeks has come to have strong associations with particular readings in which Christians trace the promise of the Messiah through the Hebrew Scriptures and are introduced to significant characters in the impending drama of the Christmas story. During Advent we wait with and through these characters and we hear their stories as witness. Elizabeth and Zechariah, John the Baptist, Mary and Joseph. The Taize book of common prayer says about Advent: “Advent is a time of waiting in contemplation for the presence of Christ within us; we are called to bear Christ, to live Christ for others. We along with the witnesses are invited to live that same spirit of poverty, of humility and joy.”

This suggests an understanding of waiting, above all, with Mary; just as Christ is forming in her body, so we reflect on Christ being formed in our lives, coming again to us, to be born again in us. 

*This page contains excerpts from “Alternative Worship” by Jonny Baker and Doug Gay


Trinity's Advent Guide

This guide was created for individuals, couples, families with children, or Trinity Groups. It includes Advent readings and other ideas like the Jesse Tree, Advent calendars, and throwing a birthday party for Jesus. 

Gift Giving Catalog

As we consider Jesus’ gift and what he calls us to do and be in the world, we’d like to give you an opportunity to give actual life-giving gifts to folks who are showing the love of Jesus to those in need here in Indy and around the world. In the pages that follow you’ll find out more about some of Trinity’s ministry partners. Please consider how you might give to them as they show the Good News of Jesus’ gift in very tangible ways. Click below to download the catalog.