As well as being the season of preparation for Christmas, Advent prepares us for the second coming of Christ in judgement. The word comes from the Latin Adventus Domini, "the Lord's coming". Advent is sometimes called "little Lent".
The First Sunday of Advent has a special place in the hearts of many Finns, and services on this day are among the best attended. The liturgical colour is white. Vogler's famous "Hoosianna" is sung everywhere, and we hear the Gospel of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, which challenges us to reflect on the place we make for Christ in our lives.
On the Monday after the First Sunday of Advent, the liturgical colour changes to purple or blue, and a penitential season of preparation begins. On the second Sunday, the theme is the coming of Christ in glory at the end of time. On the third Sunday, the central figure is St John the Baptist, who calls us to repentance. The fourth Sunday recalls the witness and role of Mary, the mother of the Lord.
In the weeks before Christmas, Carol Services draw large congregations, and collections are taken for the work of mission agencies.