Advent begins the new Christian year and consists of four Sundays before Christmas.
It is a seasonal tradition in it's own right, preceding Christmas, when the birth of Christ among us is celebrated.
The advent wreath is used to symbolically commemorate newness, eternal life, and the death and resurrection of the promised Messiah.
It is coupled with the lighting of an additional candle each week, signifying the transition from darkness to light, culminating with the Christmas candle on the 25th December.
Appropriate services, prayers and hymns are used in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
This Sunday, 29 November, is the first Sunday of Advent.