Advent

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Advent is the first season of the Christian year. Advent lasts for four weeks and is marked by preparations for the celebration of Christmas. The first day is known as Advent Sunday.

Traditional churches are decorated with a large Advent wreath.

Many people keep an Advent calendar and also have an Advent Wreath at home. For each of the Sundays in advent, there is a candle on the wreath, and on each sunday, one more candle is lighted, symbolizing the waiting for Jesus' birth on Christmas.

Special hymns and antiphons are sung during Advent; the most well-known is probably Veni Veni Emmanuel (O Come O Come Emmanuel). Christmas hymns and carols are not sung, except at special services such as a Service of Lessons and Carols. These popular family services normally take place during the week before Christmas, and many are ecumenical in nature. Some are quite famous, such as the Christmas Eve service from King's College, Cambridge, England, which is broadcast around the world.