Omega Psi Phi Fraternity is founded on Christian principles. Itscolors are Royal Purple and Old Gold. It is both ironic andappropriate that our year begins with the Thanksgiving holiday andthe Advent season. In our communities around the world, weare called to be faithful stewards of what has been entrusted tous… to make Omega a shining light. A part of thatresponsibility is to have a clear and correct understanding of theseason.
Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in theWestern tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday beforeChristmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends onChristmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it iscounted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve properbeginning at sundown.
The Color Purple
Historically, the primary sanctuary color of Advent is Purple. This is the color of penitence and fasting as well as thecolor of royalty to welcome the Advent of the King. Purple isstill used in Catholic churches. In recent times, however,Advent has undergone a shift in emphasis, reflected in a change ofcolors used in many churches. Except in the Easternchurches,
the penitential aspect of the Season has been almost totallyreplaced by an emphasis on hope and anticipation.
In many churches the third Sunday remains the Sunday of Joy markedby pink or rose. However, most Protestant churches now useblue to distinguish the Season of Advent from Lent. RoyalBlue is sometimes used as a symbol of royalty.
Some churches, including some Catholic churches, use blue violet topreserve the traditional use of purple while providing a visualdistinction between the purple or red violet of Lent.
The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival”. The focus of theentire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christin his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christthe King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more thansimply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It iscelebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christwhereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is aprocess in which we now participate, and the consummation of whichwe anticipate.
In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes thespiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirmthat Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, andthat He will come again in power. That acknowledgmentprovides a basis for Kingdom ethics, for holy living arising from aprofound sense that we live “between the times” and are called tobe faithful stewards of what is entrusted to us as God’speople.
Rev. Farrell J. Duncombe