What does Advent mean? What does the Church celebrate during Advent? Advent (ad-venio in Latin or "to come to") is a time of waiting, expectation, and preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ, the world's savior, on Christmas Day. Advent is the beginning of the Church's liturgical year and is comprised of the four Sundays before Christmas culminating on Christmas Eve and marked by special seasonal devotions. Advent is also known as "little Lent" and is a time of penance and fasting in preparation for the coming of Christ. During Advent we are called to prepare for the birth of Christ into the world, His final coming at the end of the world, and His coming into our hearts today. There are lots of ways to prepare for Advent this season with your family and loved ones. Some popular Advent activities and devotions are the lighting of the Advent wreath each Sunday and using a daily Advent calendar for children. Advent prayers are also a popular way to join with the Church in prayer during this special liturgical season. If you need help with what to choose, check out our Our Ultimate Advent & Christmas Gift Guide.