It has Latin roots and a double spiritual meaning.
The word “Advent” stems from the Latin word adventus, which literally means “coming” or “arrival.” In context, this commonly refers to the coming of Jesus on Christmas day.
St. Jerome, when composing the Latin Vulgate, also used adventus when translating the Greek word parousia. This word has a similar meaning, but in a broader context refers to Jesus’ second coming at the end of time.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church confirms this double meaning, “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming” (CCC 524).
There is even an ancient tradition that says Jesus will come again during the Advent season. For this reason as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, we recognize that Jesus could come again at any time and prepare our own hearts to receive him when he does.
Read more: How to use an Advent wreath
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?