Church calls for renewal as Advent begins

AS Filipino Catholics started observing the Advent season, the Catholic Church called for penance and renewal.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said Advent will be more “meaningful” if manifested and witnessed in the lives of the faithful.

“Advent is also a call for penance and renewal. Especially during the first two Sundays of Advent, Catholics are invited to perform penitential acts such as receiving the sacrament of confession,” said Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III.

The Church also encouraged Catholics to hold prayer vigils before the Blessed Sacrament, attend Advent retreats and reflections, and do penance and alms-giving.

Monsignor Quitorio said that without penance and renewal, Advent becomes a collection of “religious rituals bereft of Christian significance.”

The Catholic Church started marking the season of Advent, a time for the believers of physical and spiritual sacrifice.

The first Sunday of Advent marks the time of spiritual preparation by the faithful before Christmas.

Church services were held with priests wearing purple vestments and blessing an Advent wreath with its symbolic four candles.

Of the four candles, three purple ones symbolize anticipation and hope, while one pink candle symbolizes joy. The candles are arranged in a circle of evergreen to symbolize eternal life. Julian Labores

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