Advent is a season of waiting and expectation for Christmas – the birth of Christ, the Nativity of Our Lord. We prepare our homes and hearts for four weeks before Christmas. Advent is also the beginning of a new liturgical season – it concludes a long period of Ordinary Time and leads us into the new church year with hope and patience in preparation for Christmas.
This season was likely first celebrated in the fifth century, originating from the tradition of fasting several times a week, beginning on St. Martin de Tours’ Feast Day (November 11) and concluding on Christmas Day. Nowadays, Advent always starts about four weeks before Christmas, on the Sunday closest to St. Andrew’s Feast Day (November 30).
Keeping track of Advent dates amidst the busyness of the holidays can be tricky, especially as the dates change year after year. So, we put together these common FAQs for you to keep track of the Advent schedule and each Sunday of Advent. We also included the important dates that follow Christmas in the Church calendar.
Table of Contents
- When is Advent?
- Sundays of Advent
- How are the dates for Advent decided?
- What season is after Advent?
- When are the 12 Days of Christmas?
- When is Epiphany?
- Dates for Advent 2022 – 2027
- More Prayers & Blessings
When is Advent?
When does Advent start?
Advent always starts four Sundays before Christmas. This year, in 2023, Advent starts Sunday, December 3.
When is Advent over?
Advent always ends on Christmas Eve, the day before Christmas. Advent ends Sunday, December 24, 2023.
Sundays of Advent
When is the first Sunday of Advent?
The first Sunday of Advent is December 3, 2023. The first Sunday of Advent is also the beginning of the new liturgical year when we transition into a new liturgical cycle. On the first Sunday of Advent in 2023, we’ll transition from cycle A to cycle B.
When is the second Sunday of Advent?
The second Sunday of Advent is December 10, 2023.
When is the third Sunday of Advent?
The third Sunday of Advent is December 17, 2023. Called “Gaudete Sunday,” meaning rejoice, a pink candle on the Advent wreath represents this Sunday. At Mass, you’ll also see priests and deacons in pink vestments, leading us to await the birth of Jesus joyfully.
When is the fourth Sunday of Advent?
The fourth Sunday of Advent is December 24, 2023 – Christmas Eve, the day before Christmas.
How are the dates for Advent decided?
Advent always begins on a Sunday and includes three other Sundays leading up to Christmas. Traditionally, this first Sunday of Advent is always the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle on November 30, whether before or after. This year, the Feast of St. Andrew is on a Wednesday, so the first Sunday of Advent precedes the apostle’s feast day.
(Start the St. Andrew Christmas Novena on November 30.)
What season is after Advent?
After Advent, the Christmas season begins with Christmas Eve vigil masses. The Christmas season ends on Monday, January 8, 2024, the day on which we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
When are the 12 days of Christmas?
The 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day, December 25, and end on January 5, the day before Epiphany.
When is Epiphany?
Epiphany is always celebrated on January 6. Traditionally, this day marks the visit of the Magi – when the three wise men visited the baby Jesus.
Dates for Advent 2022 – 2027
|Year||Advent Start Date||Advent End Date|
|Advent 2023||Sunday, December 3, 2023||Sunday, December 24, 2023|
|Advent 2024||Sunday, December 1, 2024||Tuesday, December 24, 2024|
|Advent 2025||Sunday, November 30, 2025||Wednesday, December 24, 2025|
|Advent 2026||Sunday, November 29, 2026||Thursday, December 24, 2026|
|Advent 2027||Sunday, November 28, 2027||Friday, December 24, 2027|
|Advent 2028||Sunday, December 3, 2028||Sunday, December 24, 2028|
More Prayers & Blessings
- Advent Prayers
- Advent Candles & Advent Wreaths
- Advent Calendars
- Christmas Prayers & Blessings
- Thanksgiving Prayers
- How to Pray the Rosary
- How to Pray the Hail Mary
- How to Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet