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is the first day of the liturgical year
The liturgical year, also known as the church year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read. Distinct liturgical colours may appear in...
in the Western Christian churches
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...
. It also marks the start of the season of Advent
Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi...
. In the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and Methodist churches the celebrant wears violet-coloured or blue vestment
Vestments are liturgical garments and articles associated primarily with the Christian religion, especially among Latin Rite and other Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans...
s on this day, and the first violet or blue Advent candle
The Advent wreath, or Advent crown, is a Christian tradition that symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western church...
is lit at Mass
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...
Advent Sunday is the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. This is equivalent to the Sunday nearest to St Andrew's Day, 30 November, and the Sunday following the Solemnity of Christ the King. It can fall on any date between 27 November and 3 December. When Christmas Day is a Monday, Advent Sunday will fall on its latest possible date. Note that it is also possible to compute the date of Advent Sunday by adding three days to the date of the last Thursday of November.
Advent Sunday falls on the following dates:
- 2010: 28 November
- 2011: 27 November
- 2012: 2 December
- 2013: 1 December
- 2014: 30 November
- 2015: 29 November
- 2016: 27 November
- 2017: 3 December
- 2018: 2 December
- 2019: 1 December
- 2020: 29 November