Advent Long Ago   

The Church Year developed over several centuries, and the Church calendar continues to change as new saints are added. In the first century advent2the Church calendar consisted almost exclusively of Sundays and one whopping Sunday called Easter. Eventually Lent was added to prepare for Easter. It was then logical to add Advent as a preparation for Christmas, and traces of Advent occurred in France at the end of the fourth century. Originally Advent involved three days of fasting per week. Advent began on the Feast of St. Martin (November 11) and continued through Christmas and Epiphany in modified form. This two-month period of time was known as St. Martin’s Lent, for it included 40 fast days. This fast was primarily a time of baptismal preparation, for Epiphany was one of the main days for Baptism of adults.

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