Sunday, November 27, 2005

Christians Worldwide Mark First Day of Advent
Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005
Posted: 10:35:05AM EST

Christians worldwide will be observing the first day of the season of Advent today, marking the time for reflection, introspection and preparation leading up to Christmas.

Advent, the liturgical period preceding Christmas, begins in Western churches on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and in Eastern churches in mid-November, and observed by many Christians as a season of prayer, fasting, and penitence.

In recent years, many churches have started to treat the season of Advent as a December version of Lent, the 40 days of prayer and fasting leading up to Easter. Advent concerts, retreats, prayer services and penitential services have become common in many Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopal churches, as well as some Presbyterian and Methodist churches.
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