The Expectation, Joy, Wonder, And Hope Of Advent

Live Well Diary Team

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advent candles
As the winter winds whisper through the air and the world transforms into a canvas of twinkling lights, we find ourselves on the threshold of Advent—the season that beckons us into a space of anticipation and reflection.

Join us as we navigate through the intricate pathways of Advent, discovering the profound significance of each theme and embracing the multifaceted richness that makes this season a cherished and transformative journey.

What is Advent?

Advent is a season when Christians get ready for Christmas.

The word Advent, meaning “a coming” or “an arrival,” comes from the Latin prefix ‘ad- ‘meaning “to”, and the root ‘venire’ meaning “to come.” The English word is derived from the Latin’ adventus’ meaning “arrival.” Advent as a religious term dates back to the 10th or 11th century, but its secular use did not become popular until 1742. [1]

It is celebrated on four Sundays that precede Christmas and ends on 24 December (Christmas Eve). This is also the beginning of the Church liturgical year.

Many Christian families attend church every Sunday during Advent.

The liturgical colours for this season are purple (or violet) and rose (or pink). Most churches use purple or violet vestments during their services.

First Sundays of Advent from 2023-2050

2023 3 December
2024 1 December
2025 30 November
2026 29 November
2027 28 November
2028 3 December
2029 2 December
2030 1 December
2028 3 December
2029 2 December
2030 1 December
2031 30 November
2032 28 November
2033 27 November
2034 3 December
2035 2 December
2036 30 November
2037 29 November
2038 28 November
2039 27 November
2040 2 December
2041 1 December
2042 30 November
2043 29 November
2044 27 November
2045 3 December
2046 2 December
2047 1 December
2048 29 November
2049 28 November
2050 27 November

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Themes of Advent

In the heart of Advent lies a beautiful interplay between expectation, joy, wonder, and hope. The anticipation of Christ’s coming brings with it the promise of joy; the wonder of the Nativity story evokes a sense of hope. Examining this interplay allows us to delve deeper into these themes’ interconnectedness and appreciate the Advent season’s holistic nature.

advent - calendar white

A time expectation

Christians go through it in anticipation of the arrival of Christmas and Jesus’ birthday, but it can also be an occasion of expectation for peace, celebration, and joy to come.

The expectation during Advent is not just about waiting for a date on the calendar but waiting with the knowledge that something transformative and significant is about to occur.

This waiting period is not passive but active, calling us to organise and prepare our hearts, minds, and spirits for the arrival of the Messiah.

A Time of Hope

Hope, a central theme of the Advent season, is a guiding light through the darkest times. It encapsulates the profound belief that God, in His boundless love, chose to manifest Himself as a child—Jesus Christ.

This act of divine incarnation instils hope in the hearts of Christians, as it signifies not only a historical event but a promise of redemption, salvation, and a way back to heaven.

The birth of Jesus celebrated during Christmas, is a testament to the enduring nature of hope. It reminds us that the potential for transformative change exists even in the humblest of beginnings. The challenges of today are but a part of a larger narrative, and the hope embedded in the Christmas story assures believers that a brighter, more joyous future awaits.

advent - calendar chocs
advent - home candles
advent - countdown

A Time of Joy and Wonder

The theme of joy during Advent extends beyond the material aspects of the season, inviting individuals to reflect on the profound happiness that comes from recognising the divine love expressed through the birth of Jesus.

Embracing a joy-filled mindset during Advent is a deliberate and transformative choice. It involves consciously appreciating the simple pleasures of the season, finding joy in acts of kindness, and savouring the moments of togetherness with loved ones. Advent encourages individuals to immerse themselves in the joyous spirit of the season, allowing it to permeate every aspect of their lives and fostering a sense of gratitude and happiness beyond the holiday festivities.

Wonder, a feeling of amazement and admiration, is deeply connected to the Advent season. Rediscovering wonder during Advent involves approaching the season with a childlike curiosity and appreciating the extraordinary within the ordinary.

How is it celebrated by Christians around the world

The four weeks preceding Christmas are celebrated by lighting candles and praying. These special Advent services are held in churches around the world.

In many churches, there is an Advent wreath that has four candles. The first candle is always lit on the first Sunday. And one candle is lit each week until the four candles are burning as Christmas approaches. Each Sunday also has a unique theme or colour associated with it.

Some churches have a unique music program for the season as well. Christians may sing traditional hymns or newer songs about the waiting and preparation seasons leading to the celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day.

Some traditions associated with Advent include baking, homemade gifts, and decorating the outside of your house to celebrate Christmas.


Expectation, joy, wonder, and hope intricately weave together, forming the tapestry of a journey transcending the mere countdown to Christmas. Each theme holds a unique significance, contributing to a deeper knowledge of the spiritual essence of Advent.

May the themes of expectation, joy, wonder, and hope infuse your days with meaning, purpose, and a deep connection to the spirit of Christmas. May you find joy in the small moments, wonder in the miraculous, and hope that transcends the challenges you may face.

May this Advent season be a time of reflection, celebration, and spiritual growth, filling your heart with the warmth of expectation, the glow of joy, the marvel of wonder, and the enduring flame of hope.


Macmillan Dictionary Blog. (2017). What is Advent? [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 December 2022].

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