Introduction to Advent
The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s liturgical year. Through the yearly cycle of readings, we celebrate the whole mystery of Christ, beginning with his incarnation and ending with Pentecost and the expectation of his second coming.
The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar describes Advent in this way:
Advent has a twofold character: as a season to prepare for Christmas when Christ’s first coming to us is remembered; as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation (no. 39).