Advent comes from the Latin word meaning "coming." Jesus
is coming, and Advent is intended to be a season of
preparation for His arrival. While we typically regard Advent
as a joyous season, it is also intended to be a period of
preparation, much like Lent. Prayer, penance and fasting are
appropriate during this season.
Advent is not as strict as Lent, and there are no rules for
fasting, but it is meant to be a period of self-preparation. The
purple color associated with Advent is also the color of
penance. The faithful should fast during the first two weeks
in particular and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The color of the Third Sunday of Advent is rose. This color
symbolizes joy and represents the happiness we will
experience when Jesus comes again. The Third Sunday is a
day of anticipatory celebration. It is formerly called
"Gaudete" Sunday; gaudete means "rejoice" in Latin.
Finally, Sundays during Advent, just as during Lent, should
not be given to fasting, but instead to celebration because we
celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord every Sunday. It is
important to remember, however, there are no particular
rules for how the laity should observe Advent.