Advent, from the Latin “coming,” is a season of four weeks of preparation for the coming of Christ, which Christians commemorate on Dec. 25. These four weeks are a time of joyful preparation.

The readings from the prophets of the Jewish Scripture often form a part of this spiritual time. It is a time to be ready and to prepare spiritually for the coming feast of the Nativity of Jesus.

The Christian community in the Roman Catholic and Protestant parts of the Christian world celebrate the First Sunday of Advent four weeks prior to Dec. 25. Orthodox Christians follow the Julian calendar and their celebration of Christmas follows a slightly different calendar.