Advent is a season on the Church's liturgical calendar year marked by a spiritual time of prayerful waiting, expectation, and preparation during the four weeks before Christmas. The Advent prayers collected in special Advent prayer books call to mind our spiritual preparation for the Lord's coming on Christmas Day, His present coming into our hearts, and His second coming at the end of the world. The Advent theme of spiritual preparation involves special Advent prayers that are focused on waiting, watching, and hoping for the Lord's coming. Advent is also known as the "little Lent" and is a time of fasting and penance as we wait for the joy of the birth of Christ to dispel the world's darkness. Many Advent prayer books include daily prayers during the four weeks of December, while others include meditations and reflections on the writings of popular Catholics and saints such as Pope John Paul II or Fulton Sheen. Other Advent wreath prayers are meant specifically to be said along with the lighting of an Advent wreath. Advent prayer books are a great way to prepare your hearts and minds--and the hearts and minds of your children and families--for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.