Advent and Expectation
Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The word Advent means “coming” or arrival and it symbolises the spiritual journey of waiting. It was also traditionally a time of fasting. Prof Siobhán Garrigan, the Loyola Chair of Catholic Theology and Director of the Loyola Institute, says that we have lost much of the real meaning of Advent – many of us are not even aware that there are Advent carols and that Advent has a whole season and spirituality of its own. Siobhán begins by explaining to Miriam Gormally that our biggest challenge during Advent is to avoid overspending and overeating. However she adds that gift giving and feasting, if done in the right way, can be spiritually uplifting.