Advent Sunday

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Introit on the 1st Sunday of Advent: Ad te levavi
Introit on the 4th Sunday of Advent
Rorate caeli

With the Vespers on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent (in Austria Sunday of Advent ) begins Christmas season and also in the Catholic and Protestant churches, the new church year . The Advent season ends on Christmas Eve with the first Vespers of Christmas . Advent in the Western Church lasts 22 to 28 days, depending on when it begins, and has four Sundays . The Ambrosian rite common in the Archdiocese of Milan and the Mozarabic rite , in which Advent begins on the Sunday after St. Martin's Day , have six Advent Sundays. In the Eastern Churches too, the Advent season - called Christmas fasting here - lasts six weeks.

Name, introit, liturgical color

The Sundays in Advent are counted from the first to the fourth Sunday in both the Catholic and Protestant churches in Germany. Traditionally, they used to be named after the opening words of the Introit , the opening chant to Holy Mass . In the Catholic liturgy, the Latin name of the third Sunday in Advent ( Gaudete ) has remained in use; no Latin names are given in the Evangelical Hymnal:

1st Sunday in Advent (1st Advent)

The church year begins on the eve of the 1st Sunday in Advent .
Catholic: Ad te levavi ( Ad te levavi animam meam : "To you I lift up my soul", Ps 25.1  EU )
Evangelical: See, your King comes to you, a righteous man and a helper. ( Sach 9.9  EU )
Liturgical color: purple

2nd Sunday in Advent (2nd Advent)

Catholic: Populus Sion ( Populus Sion, ecce Dominus veniet ad salvandas gentes : "People of Zion, behold, the Lord will come to save the peoples.", ( Isa 30:19, 30  EU ))
Evangelical: Look up and lift up your heads because your redemption is near , Lk 21.28  EU
Liturgical color: purple

3rd Sunday in Advent (3rd Advent)

Catholic: Gaudete ( Gaudete in Domino semper : "Rejoice in the Lord always", Phil 4,4  EU )
Evangelical: Prepare the way for the Lord, for, behold, the Lord is coming mightily. ( Isa 40,3.10  EU )
Liturgical color: violet, also pink in the Catholic liturgy (lightened violet because of the joyful character of Sunday Gaudete )

4th Sunday in Advent (4th Advent)

Catholic: Rorate ( Rorate, caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum: aperiatur terra, et germinet salvatorem : “Thaw, you heavens, from above, you clouds, rain on the righteous: Let the earth open and sprout the Savior”, Isa 45.8  EU )
Evangelical: Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say: Rejoice! The Lord is near! ( Phil 4,4-5  EU )
Liturgical color: purple

Gospel readings on the four Sundays of Advent

The focus of the proclamation on the four Sundays of Advent is the readings from the Gospels , which give the services a specific theme. This varies depending on the denomination.

In the Protestant churches on the first Sunday of Advent, the old urban Roman gospel of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem was preserved. In the Catholic liturgy, since the liturgical reform of 1970, the Feast of Christ the King has corresponded with the 1st Advent; It is celebrated on the Sunday before the 1st Advent, the last Sunday of the church year, and is under the sign of Christ returning as King.

Protestant (EKD) Protestant (SELK) Catholic, reading year A Catholic, reading year B Catholic, reading year C Catholic until 1970
1 Advent Entry into Jerusalem
( Mt 21,1-11  LUT )
The coming Lord
( Mt 21 : 1-9  LUT )
Second Coming of the Lord
( Mt 24 : 37-44  EU )
Second Coming of the Lord
( Mk 13,33-37  EU )
Second Coming of the Lord
( Lk 21.25–28.34–36  EU )
Second Coming of the Lord
( Luke 21.25–33  EU )
2nd Advent Return of the Lord
( Lk 21.25 to 33  LUT )
The coming redeemer
( Lk 21.25-33  LUT )
John the Baptist
( Mt 3 : 1–12  EU )
John the Baptist
( Mk 1,1-8  EU )
John the Baptist
( Lk 3,1–6  EU )
John the Baptist
( Mt 11 : 2–10  EU )
3rd Advent John the Baptist
( Lk 1,67-79  LUT )
John the Baptist
( Mt 11 : 2–10  LUT )
John the Baptist
( Mt 11 : 2-11  EU )
John the Baptist
( John 1, 6–8, 19–28  EU )
John the Baptist
( Lk 3.10–18  EU )
John the Baptist
( Joh 1,19-28  EU )
4th Advent Mary and Elizabeth
( Lk 1,26–38 (39–56)  ESV )
( Lk 1,38-56  LUT )
Annunciation to Joseph
( Mt 1.18-24  EU )
Annunciation to Mary
( Lk 1.26–38  EU )
Mary and Elizabeth
( Lk 1.39–45  EU )
John the Baptist
( Lk 3,1–6  EU )

Web links

Wiktionary: Advent Sunday  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  • Karl-Heinrich Bieritz : The church year: festivals, commemorative and public holidays in the past and present . CH Beck, Munich 2005

Individual evidence

  1. Julia Martin: That means the four Advent Sundays. In: . December 1, 2018, accessed January 5, 2019 .
  2. Advent. In: Lexicon. Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church, accessed on November 26, 2018 .