You will find prayer stations installed in Church to help with private prayer and reflection during the Advent season. Preparation for Christmas through Advent focusses on anticipation, on waiting for the Incarnation, or indeed for the coming again of our Lord into this world. The word ”Advent” is derived from the Latin and means “coming”.
Christians think of worship on the four Sundays of Advent as opportunities to think about the people of God, the prophets, St John the Baptist who proclaimed the way of the Lord, and of Mary, the mother of Jesus. All of these were called by God in some way and all in their own way said yes to the call. Hope, Love, Joy and Peace are also themes which can mark the four Sundays. Special candles, set in an Advent wreath, are lit, one for each Sunday – and a fifth candle to mark the Christmas birth.
You will see that the Church is dressed in purple for the Advent season. This is a royal and a sombre colour, reminiscent of the penitential purple of the Lenten season, before Easter; maybe it reminds us that the road to the Bethlehem cradle was not an easy one for the parents as they journeyed or indeed for the Magi from the east, drawn by a star to a mystery they could not fathom.
The five stations in church are described as follows –