Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown.
First Sunday of Advent November 29, 2009
Second Sunday of Advent December 02, 2009
Third Sunday of Advent December 13, 2009
Fourth Sunday of Advent December 20, 2009
The Advent wreath is an increasingly popular symbol of the beginning of the Church year in many churches as well as homes. The candles are lighted one at a time, in succession on the four Sundays.