Church of England


The calendar year starts on 1st January – but for the Church its New Year starts on Advent Sunday (the fourth Sunday before Christmas).The actual date varies but it is usually the last Sunday in November or the first Sunday in December.

Advent comes from the Latin word Adventus, which means coming, and it’s the time when the Church gets ready for the coming of Jesus, celebrated at Christmas. The readings in the lectionary look forward not only to Christ’s first coming as a babe in Bethlehem, but also to his eventual second coming as judge and ruler of all. The themes are:

  • hope
  • darkness / light
  • repentance
  • watchfulness
  • preparation
  • expectation of the incarnation of Christ on Christmas
  • anticipation of the fullness of time at Christ's second coming

 In Roman times purple cloth was the most costly, and was associated with kings and rulers. And so the colour for Advent, the getting ready for King Jesus, is purple.

All too often, Advent gets lost in rehearsals for Christmas presentations, and the sense of anticipation and waiting disappears. The ideas in this section offer ways of recapturing Advent as a season in its own right - preparing ourselves to receive the gift of the Christ Child on Christmas morning.

Advent in 2 minutes is a fantastic introduction to Advent!

BRF have produced material for children on Hosea, Micah and Amos which together form an Advent series on Love, Hope and Justice. The downloads are available on the right.