Blue Flower

ADVENT, Adventurus, in the calendar, the time immediately preceding Christmas; anciently employed in piouspreparation for the Adventus, or coming on, of the Feast of the Nativity. See Nativity, etc.

Advent includes four Sundays or weeks; commencingeither from the Sunday which falls on St. Andrew's Day,or that next after it. But, it is to be noted, this rule hasnot always obtained. In the Ambrosian Office, there aresix weeks marked for Advent; and St. Gregory, in his Sacramentary, allows five. The first week of Advent, in our way of reckoning, isthat wherein it begins; but it was anciently otherwise, theweek next Christmas being reputed the first; and the numeration carried backward. Great austerity was practiced in the ancient Church duringthis season. At first, they fasted three days a week; butwere afterward obliged to fast every day; whence theseason is frequently called in ancient writers, Lent, andQuadragesima. See Lent and Fast.

The courts of justice were all shut. Under King John,it was expressly declared that in Adventu Domini nullaAssisa capi deberet; but this was afterward altered, and it was made lawful, in respect of justice and charity which ought at all times to be regarded, to take Assizes of NovelDisseisin, Mort d'Ancestor, and Darrein Presentment, in theTime of Advent, Septuagesima, and Lent. See ASSIZE.

This is also one of the times, from the beginning whereof, to the end of the octaves of the Epiphany, the solemnizing of marriage is forbidden, without express license. See Marriage; see also Rogation.