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By Jay Richards, The Stream, December 5, 2019
If your church follows the liturgical calendar, you may have noticed that it’s marked by the color purple, just like Lent. Ever wondered why? It’s because Advent, like Lent, was traditional a time of repentance and preparation. Just as Lent prepares us for the great feast of Easter, so Advent prepares us for the great feast of Christmas.
Advent is the beginning of the Christian year and might be thought of an as “mini-Lent.” It’s when we prepare ourselves physically and spiritually to commemorate the coming of our Lord. It’s a time when we seek, in a special way, to overcome the darkness of the fallen world, including the darkness in ourselves, before we celebrate the arrival of the Light who comes to vanquish the darkness. Christ came first in the flesh, then in our hearts, and finally at the end of time — as St. Bernard of Clairvaux put it.
The exact details of the Advent Fast have varied from place to place. But it almost always involved (by our standards) strict abstinences from foods such as meat, and in many cases, eating only one meal a day.
What Happened? ….