The first season of the church year, beginning with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and continuing through the day before Christmas. The name is derived from a Latin word for "coming." The season is a time of preparation and expectation for the coming celebration of our Lord's nativity, and for the final coming of Christ "in power and glory."

Advent at the Cathedral

Looking for information about
Christmas at the Cathedral? It's here.


Our culture promotes the days leading up to Christmas as a time of spending, acquiring, cooking, partying and decorating--of giving our time, money and attention over to the pursuit of something called "getting ready for Christmas," with the goal of a rather unrealistic fantasy of what the day will be for ourselves and our families. (And the day after Thanksgiving--a national holiday meant to be a time of gratitude and reflection upon our many blessings--is immediately followed by a day focused on acquiring material goods, popularly called "Black Friday.")  


As Christians, we approach the season before Christmas quite differently. Advent is a time of reflection, study and prayer, in preparation for receiving Christ in our hearts and in our lives. Advent is the first season in the church's year, and is “traditionally regarded as one of two penitential seasons (the other being Lent). But Advent is better thought of as a season of solemn preparation for remembering Christ’s incarnation at Christmas and for anticipating the eschatalogical fulfillment of his promise to return in power and great glory. The season’s biblical readings focus on the end time and on God’s promises for the people of Israel and the church of Christ.” {A Dictionary for Episcopalians by John N. Wall; Cowley Publications} 

At Christ Church Cathedral, our observance includes not only the traditional music and readings appointed for the season of Advent during our regular worship, but the special offerings listed below.  But Advent is not about doing things--it may be that this season is a time for you to do less. Take advantage of any of the following offerings, as you wish, but keep in mind that adding more to your to-do list is not the point!  As with everything at Christ Church Cathedral, our Advent observances and offerings are open to all, regardless of whether you are an "official member" of this parish. 


Whose meditation will we link this year? 


Sunday, December 8

During the Annual Meeting following church
In the undercroft; no registration required
Children can learn more about this season of preparation. We supply everything needed to make an Advent wreath.  Each child will be given an Advent meditation to use at home.


Sunday, December 22

10:00 am

Join us for a festival of Lessons and Carols outlining the story of Christmas. Hear readings from scripture and music from the Cathedral Choir. This abbreviated version of this service will be followed by The Holy Eucharist, Rite Two.


Sunday, December 15

9:45 am

The annual children's pageant takes place before the 10:00 am service.  Rehearsals are at 9:00 am on Sunday, November 24, and Sunday, December 8.  If you would like to participate, let us know. 


Link to Episcopal Church and local charities.


Members of the Cathedral family provide Christmas gifts for children of our partners in the Mobile Police Department's Family Intervention Team (FIT). On the first Sunday in Advent, you may stop by the tree in the Chapter House or use this link and select an ornament with a list of gifts, purchase them, and return them to church by .  Gifts must be at the church by December 15.


In addition to these special offerings, Advent is a particularly appropriate time to adopt a new spiritual practice like reading the Daily Office at home. Visit our Worship page  for more information on our year-round offerings in worship and prayer.


Advent wreath 2018 3_edited.jpg

Advent means 'Coming' in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas. 

There are five candles on an Advent wreath. Four of the candles represent the four weeks of Advent, and one candle is lit each Sunday. The fifth is the white candle which is lit on Christmas Eve.