Fri, April 18, 2014 /       View Shabbat / Jewish Calendar

JewishBoston.com

Advent-ures in Learning About Christmas

by AlexisG / December 19, 2011

created at: 2011-12-19
When I started thinking about what Jews might want to know about Christmas, I realized that there’s probably some diversity among Christians as to how they celebrate the holiday. I decided to write two blogs about the religious differences among Christians at Christmas. This post will be about the period before Christmas, and stay tuned for my blog about Christmas itself- to be posted Friday!

created at: 2011-12-19A big difference among churches is what happens before Christmas.
Though all churches celebrate Christmas around the same time, only some churches, called “liturgical churches,” follow the Christian calendar‘s holy seasons. This is similar to how Jews use the Jewish calendar to determine holidays. The standard liturgical denominations are Catholic, Orthodox, and the following Protestant denominations: Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian. Advent (“coming” in Latin) is one of the seasons observed by liturgical churches, starting the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ending on Christmas Eve. It is a time marked not by celebration but reflection and penitence, with particular reflection on the Hebrew prophecies of the coming of the Messiah. (A symbol of Advent is the Advent wreath with four candles.)

Advent is a time for Christians to prepare spiritually both for the birth of Jesus
and, eventually, his Second Coming. It’s kind of like how Jews clean out the hametz from homes before Passover or count the days between Passover and Shavuot. Similar to how Jews often refrain from having baby showers until after a baby is born, those observing Advent won’t celebrate Christmas before December 24th. So if you notice a nativity scene with the baby Jesus missing, don’t call the police to report vandalism- it's a common practice to keep the baby Jesus out of the manger until Christmas morning.

This article is part of JewishBoston.com's Brief Guide To Christmas For The Perplexed! Download the entire guide or find the other articles in our blog section.

Events

Women Working Together Job Search Strategy Group & Individual Career Coaching
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Women Working Together Job Search Strategy Group & Individual Career Coaching

Career Moves -- a division of JVS | Get Your Career Moving
Riverway Cafe
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Riverway Cafe

Riverway Project
Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture
Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Bissel Schlissel Challah Baking Workshop

Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture
Auschwitz or Sinai: Israel and the Culture of Memory
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Auschwitz or Sinai: Israel and the Culture of Memory

Hebrew College
Beauty & The Beast: The Battle of Identity
Sunday, May 04, 2014

Beauty & The Beast: The Battle of Identity

Eim Chai
Lunch & Learn: Finding Your Leadership Style
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lunch & Learn: Finding Your Leadership Style

Career Moves -- a division of JVS | Get Your Career Moving
Interfaith Conversations
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Interfaith Conversations

Reform Jewish Outreach Boston