Advent is a penitential season as our attention is turned toward the end of all things. We await the coming of the Lord in glory as king and judge. This is the so-called 'second-coming', also referred to as the 'Parousia'. 

Although a penitential time of waiting, there should too be an underlying sense of joyful expectation. This period has become too heavily overlaid with preparations for the first coming of the Lord as the infant Jesus, largely because of secular and commercial pressures - as Christians we need to make a conscious effort to keep hold of the original intention through all the accumulated social agenda. The major legitimate service of preparation for Christmas that can be made during the season of Advent is the Carol Service.