The word advent means “coming”. In the church it has referred to the coming of Jesus, sometimes referred to as the ‘two’ comings (birth at Bethlehem and final coming at consummation of history) or the ‘three’ comings (including sacramental presence in the gathering of the assembly).
Within the structure of the Liturgical Year, the season of Advent is seen as a time of preparation to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord. Festive elements are minimized and John the Baptist’s call to repentance is highlighted. A wreath may be used to count the Sundays and mark the time of waiting and watching.