The Schema of Advent


The progression of Advent can be understood as follows:

  • First Sunday of Advent. A sudden announcement that the Lord is coming.
    • Feast of St. Barbara (December 4). See Barbara Branches.
    • Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6). See Saint Nicholas.
    • Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8).
  • Second Sunday of Advent. The voices of Isaiah and John the Baptist tell us to prepare.


The Annunciation

  • Feast of St. Lucy (December 13). See Lucy Lights.
  • Third Sunday of Advent: Gaudete Sunday. A joyful warning from the Lord's heralds.
  • Ember Wednesday of Advent: the "Golden Mass." Commemoration of the Annunciation (see Ember Days).
  • Ember Friday of Advent. Commemoration of the Visitation.
  • Ember Saturday of Advent. "Holy impatience" over the coming of the Lord, both in the manger and in glory at the end of time.

The "Octave" Before Christmas & The Greater Antiphons (beginning this year, 2000 AD, on Gaudete Sunday). See "Octave" and "Golden Nights."

  • Dec. 17 Antiphon: "O Wisdom, who camest out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come and teach us the way of prudence" (Ecclus 24.5; Wisd. 8.1).
  • Dec. 18 Antiphon: "O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and didst give unto him the law on Sinai: come and with outstretched arm and redeem us" (Ex. 3.2, 20.1).
  • Dec. 19 Antiphon: "O Root of Jesse, who standest for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence, and unto whom the Gentiles shall make their supplication: come to deliver us, and tarry not" (Is. 11.10).

The Visitation

  • Dec. 20 Antiphon: "O Key of David and Sceptre of the house of Israel, who openest and no man shutteth, who shuttest and no man openeth: come and bring forth from the prison-house, the captive that sitteth in darkness and in the shadow of death" (Is. 22.22; Apoc. 3.7; Lk.1.79).
  • Dec. 21 Antiphon: "O Dawn of the East, Brightness of light eternal, and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death" (Ps. 106.10).
  • Dec. 22 Antiphon: "O King of the Gentiles and the desired of them, Thou cornerstone that makest both one, come and deliver man, whom Thou didst form out of the dust of the earth" (Agg. 2.8; Eph. 2.14,20).
  • Dec. 23 Antiphon: "O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Saviour, come to save us, O Lord our God" (Is. 7.14, 33.22).
  • [Fourth Sunday of Advent. More reflections on Isaiah, John, and our Lady presaging the Lord's arrival. NOTE: This year there is no fourth Sunday of Advent because Christmas Eve falls on the Sunday before Christmas.]
  • Vigil of Christmas (Christmas Eve Day). The imminence of the twofold coming of the Lord.


The Meaning of Advent

Advent Customs | Advent Foods

 The Liturgical Year

Parish Home Page | Latin Mass Home Page