LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For Christians, the Christmas season is a time for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. While churches will be packed on Christmas Eve, many churches already get an early start.
At many Churches, the Christmas celebration goes beyond the traditional hymns, and is a four week celebration focused around the Advent Wreath.
"It focuses us on what the true meaning of Christmas is; that God came to be with us," Lufkin First Baptist Church member, David Hearne said.
Tradition states the advent season was first celebrated in the 4th century as a way to anticipate the coming holiday. The word "advent" comes from the Latin word adventus, used to describe the second coming of Jesus.
"Instead of us focusing on Christmas for a weekend or two days, or whatever most churches do, now we start to beginning to think about it right after thanksgiving," Lufkin First Baptist Church Associate pastor, Aubrey Knox said. "Realizing that indeed, God had prepared the world and it wasn't something he did on the spur of the moment."
Each week, a different candle is lit. Each candle is a different size and has its own meaning.
"Traditionally, the candles of advent represent the hope, the peace, the joy and the love of the Christmas season," Lufkin First Baptist Church Pastor Andy Pittman said.
A fifth candle is in the middle of the wreath, representing the birth of Christ. The large white candle is used by many churches to light all candles used during Christmas Eve services.
For church members it is a way to start discussion and remember the reason for the season.
"During the entire month, we are talking about an aspect about what Christ came to bring to us," Hearne said.
First Baptist Church of Lufkin will have one more advent celebration Tuesday night with a special candlelight service for the entire community.