Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent Quick Facts - AU

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2024 Date22 December 2024

Fourth Sunday of Advent

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The Fourth Sunday of Advent, marking the final week of the Advent season, serves as a special day of reflection and anticipation for Christians worldwide ahead of Christmas. The observance is deeply significant in the liturgical calendar as it highlights the culmination of preparation, prayer, and penance throughout December. The focus of this Sunday is on 'love,' symbolised by a single pink or rose-coloured candle amidst three purple or blue ones on the Advent wreath, a vivid representation of the impending joyous birth of Christ.

The observance of Advent, which includes the Fourth Sunday of Advent, originated in the 4th century, although specific traditions have evolved over time, reflecting cultural adaptations and regional influences. For Australian Christians, the Fourth Sunday of Advent carries a celebrated harmony of their faith and unique Australian character. This day personifies the sharing of love, by focusing on the principles of family, community, charity, and the anticipation for the arrival of peace with the birth of Christ.

In Australia, the Fourth Sunday of Advent is commemorated with church services, family gatherings, charity drives, and small-scale celebrations, whilst respecting the introspective nature of Advent. Churches often conduct special programs, caroling, and sermons focused on the themes of love, anticipation, and the nativity. Parishioners are encouraged to perform acts of kindness and generosity, echoing the Aussie spirit of giving, mateship and compassion. As in other parts of the world, the Fourth Sunday of Advent does not have a fixed date, as it lands on the Sunday closest to Christmas, varying between December 18th and 24th annually. It signals the end of Advent and the imminent celebration of Christmas.

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Fourth Sunday of Advent facts

  • The Fourth Sunday of Advent relates to the birth of Christ. As such, the candle for the Fourth Sunday is known as the Angel's candle.
  • The theme for the Fourth Sunday of Advent is peace. In an account by Evangelist Luke, upon the announcement of the birth of Christ, an angel said Peace on Earth, Good will toward men.
  • The Advent wreath is believed to have been used as early as the 16th century. German theologian and pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern is credited with the modern practice of lighting candles as part of the wreath.
  • Australians may take this time to send out Christmas cards, prepare traditional Australian Christmas meals, and finish last-minute shopping for presents.
  • Many Aboriginal churches and churchgoers have embraced the Advent season by incorporating both Christian and indigenous symbols and traditions into their celebrations.

Top things to do in Australia for Fourth Sunday of Advent

  • Pray and rejoice in peace. The Fourth Sunday represents peace. Peace can be reached despite trouble or conflict through God's love.
  • Attend an event or Mass in celebration of Advent. Be sure to abide by CDC guidelines and social distance.
  • Spend some time reading and reflecting on biblical passages related to the birth of Jesus, such as the Annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-38) or the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17).
  • Advent is a time of preparation and generosity. Use the Fourth Sunday of Advent to perform acts of kindness and charity. Reach out to others in need, volunteer at a local shelter, or make a donation to a charitable organization.

References and related sites Purpose of Advent Wreath and Candles
Fourth Sunday of Advent Facts

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