According to present  usage, Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November this year, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.
With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful are admonished:
- to prepare themselves worthily to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord's coming into the world as the incarnate God of love,
- thus to make their souls fitting abodes for the Redeemer coming in Holy Communion and through grace, and
- thereby to make themselves ready for His final coming as judge, at death and at the end of the world
Saint Andrew, the first apostle The Church celebrates the feast of Saint Andrew on November 27th, an important date in the annual liturgical calendar, because it determines the date of the First Sunday of Advent, which is the Sunday nearest this Feast. Saint Andrew is the patron saint fishermen, and of both Scotland and Russia.
Andrew, the first Apostle called by Jesus, was a fisherman from Bethsaida and the brother of Simon Peter. A follower of John the Baptist, Andrew recognized Jesus as the Messiah when John baptized Our Lord in the Jordan River, and he introduced his brother Simon to Jesus. The two brothers continued as fishermen until Jesus called them as Apostles.
After Pentecost, it is believed that Andrew went to Greece to preach the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
Saint Andrew, called the "Protoclet" (or "first called") by the Greeks, was crucified at Achaia by order of Roman Governor Aegeas during the reign of Nero. He was bound, not nailed, to the X-shaped cross in order to prolong his sufferings. According to tradition, he preached from the cross for two days, and died on the third day.
- Little Lent lasts until Christmas Day.
Happy New Year and Christmas Blessings.