Advent is here!

1 December 2003

Yesterday at church they lit the first advent candle on the wreath, and changed all the green coverings and decoration in the church to purple (apparently the liturgical colour for the season), and stopped singing songs containing Alleluia, or saying it in the liturgy of the service! Which is a bit different and seems strange -particularly avoiding songs containing Alleluia. But the idea behind it is that Advent is a season of preparation for Christmas. It’s been quite interesting to see how different things are here - both in the culture of the country and the culture of the church. Gilberto encouraged people at the service to remember the real reason for Christmas and Advent, and not to let giving cards, giving presents and decorating distract from Jesus. Here they celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) and by the sounds of things they party all night.