Topic: Advent and Christmas

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The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit," begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians.

Although we are accustomed to celebrating Christmas on a single day, in both Christian tradition and on the Church calendar, the Christmas season lasts sundown on December 24 (Christmas Eve) through Epiphany of the Lord (January 6). This is sometimes popularly referred to as "the twelve days of Christmas."


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Church History
Image by Larisa Koshkina, courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News

The intriguing history of ‘O Holy Night’

The 300-year-old story of a beloved Christmas song is filled with scandal, politics and dubiousness. Yet the 19th-century French carol remains a favorite. Chrystal Caviness reports for UMC.org.
Local Church
An outside nativity is one part of Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church's annual Christmas event in Middleburg, Ohio. Photo courtesy of East Ohio Conference.

Christmas lights show celebrates Jesus

Music, puppet shows, crafts, snacks and other activities have been added over the years to the annual Christmas lights show at Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church in Middleburg, Ohio.
Theology and Education
The Rev. Susan Robb’s book, “The Angels of Christmas: Hearing God’s Voice in Advent,” is a four-week Advent study of the four angelic visits surrounding the birth of Jesus with Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. Book cover courtesy of Abingdon Press.

Exploring the role of angels at Christmas and beyond

“The Angels of Christmas” is a four-part Advent series examining the angels who appear as part of the stories surrounding the birth of Jesus. But the book has a second intention: to encourage readers to take the role of angels themselves.