Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming” Advent begins the church year, starting four Sundays before Christmas. Advent is a time for self-examination and repentance, as the church continues to prepare for Christ’s Second Coming; even as it prepares for Christmas. Advent wreaths have their origins in the folk traditions of northern Europe, where in the deep of winter people lit candles on wheel-shaped bundles of evergreen. Both the evergreen and the circular shape symbolized ongoing life. The candlelight gave comfort at this darkest time of the year, as people looked forward to the longer days of spring.