subdeacon at Mass, in place of the dalmatics commonly used, wear folded chasubles. The subdeacon removes his during the reading of the Epistle, and the deacon exchanges his for another, or for a wider stole, worn over the left shoulder during the time between the singing of the Gospel and the Communion. An exception is made for the third Sunday (Gaudete Sunday), on which the vestments may be rose-coloured, or richer violet ones; the sacred ministers may on this Sunday wear dalmatics, which may also be used on the Vigil of the Nativity, even if it be the fourth Sunday of Advent. Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) states that black was the colour to be used during Advent, but violet had already come into use for this season at the end of the thirteenth century. Binterim says that there was also a law that pictures should be covered during Advent. Flowers and relics of Saints are not to be placed on the altars during the Office and Masses of this time, except on the third Sunday; and the same prohibition and exception exist in regard to the use of the organ. The popular idea that the four weeks of Advent symbolize the four thousand years of darkness in which the world was enveloped before the coming of Christ finds no confirmation in the Liturgy.
Historical Origin.—It cannot be determined with any degree of certainty when the celebration of Advent was first introduced into the Church. The preparation for the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord was not held before the feast itself existed, and of this we find no evidence before the end of the fourth century, when, according to Duchesne [Christian Worship (London, 1904), 260], it was celebrated throughout the whole Church, by some on 25 December, by others on 6 January. Of such a preparation we read in the Acts of a synod held at Saragossa in 380, whose fourth canon prescribes that from the seventeenth of December to the feast of the Epiphany no one should be permitted to absent himself from church. We have two homilies of St. Maximus, Bishop of Turin (415–466), entitled "In Adventu Domini", but he makes no reference to a special time. The title may be the addition of a copyist. There are some homilies extant, most likely of St. Cæsarius, Bishop of Arles (502–542), in which we find mention of a preparation before the birthday of Christ; still, to judge from the context, no general law on the matter seems then to have been in existence. A synod held (581) at Mâcon, in Gaul, by its ninth canon orders that from the eleventh of November to the Nativity the Sacrifice be offered according to the Lenten rite on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the week. The Gelasian Sacramentary notes five Sundays for the season; these five were reduced to four by Pope St. Gregory VII (1073–85). The collection of homilies of St. Gregory the Great (590–604) begins with a sermon for the second Sunday of Advent. In 650 Advent was celebrated in Spain with five Sundays. Several synods had made laws about fasting to be observed during this time, some beginning with the eleventh of November, others the fifteenth, and others as early as the autumnal equinox. Other synods forbade the celebration of matrimony. In the Greek Church we find no documents for the observance of Advent earlier than the eighth century. St. Theodore the Studite (d. 826), who speaks of the feasts and fasts commonly celebrated by the Greeks, makes no mention of this season. In the eighth century we find it observed not as a liturgical celebration, but as a time of fast and abstinence, from 15 November to the Nativity, which, according to Goar, was later reduced to seven days. But a council of the Ruthenians (1720) ordered the fast according to the old rule from the fifteenth of November. This is the rule with at least some of the Greeks. Similarly, the Ambrosian and the Mozarabic rites have no special liturgy for Advent, but only the fast.
Butler, Feasts and Fasts; Binterim, Denkwürdigkeiten, V. i; Probst in Kirchenlex., (2d ed.). I. 250–252; Binder, Allgemeine Realencyklopaedie; Beumer-Biron, Hist. du breviaire romain (Paris, 1905), I, 901, 260, 371; II, 52–53; Kellner, Heortologie (Freiburg, 1901), 106–108; Nilles, Kalendarium Manuall utriusque Ecclesiæ (Innspruck, 1897), II, 535–539, 511–514; Ceremoniale Episcoporum; Gueranqer, Année Liturgique (Paris, 1870; Eng. tr. London).
Advent, Second. See Millennium.
Adventists.—A group of six American Protestant sects which hold in common a belief in the near return of Christ in person, and differ from one another mainly in their understanding of several doctrines related to this common belief. They are, excepting the "Seventh Day Adventists" and the branch entitled "The Church of God" congregational in government. The sects of Adventists are the outcome of a religious agitation begun by William Miller (1781–1849) in 1831, after a minute study of the prophecies of the Bible. Testing the mysterious pronouncements concerning the Messias by a method exclusively historical, he looked for the fulfilment of every prophecy in its obvious surface reading. Every prophecy which had not been literally accomplished in the first coming of Christ must needs be accomplished in His second coming. Christ, therefore, should return at the end of the world in the clouds of heaven to possess the land of Canaan, and to reign in an earthly triumph on the throne of David for a thousand years. Moreover, taking the 2,300 days of the Prophet Daniel for so many years, and computing from 457 b.c.—that is, from the commencement of the seventy weeks before the first coming, Miller concluded that the world would come to an end, and Christ would return, in a.d. 1843. He gave wide circulation to his views and gained a considerable following in a few years. When the year 1843 had passed as any other, and the prediction had failed, Snow, one of his disciples, set himself to correct Miller's calculations, and in his turn announced the end of the world for 22 October 1844. As the day drew near groups of Millerites here and there throughout the United States, putting aside all worldly occupations, awaited, in a fever of expectancy the promised coming of Christ, but were again doomed to disappointment. The faithful followers of Miller next met in conference at Albany, N.Y., in 1845, and professed their unshaken faith in the near personal coming of the Son of God. And this has remained the fundamental point of the Adventist creed. According to the official census of 1890, the Adventists had 60,491 communicants; at present they have about 100,000 adherents all told. The Adventist movement, inaugurated by Miller, has differentiated into the following independent bodies:—
I. Evangelical Adventists (the original stock).—They believe the dead are conscious after separation from the body, and will rise again; the just, first to reign with Christ on earth for the Millennium and, after the Judgment, in heaven for all eternity; the wicked to rise at the Day of Judgment to be condemned to hell forever. They may be said to have organized in 1845. They number 1,147 communicants. II. Advent Christians.—These believe that the dead lie in an unconscious state till Christ comes again, when all will arise; the just to receive everlasting life; the wicked to be annihilated; since immortality, once man's natural birthright, has been forfeited by sin and is now a supernatural gift had only through faith in Christ. The General Association was formed in 1881. The Advent Christians number 26,500. III. Seventh Day Adventists.—These hold to the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. They believe that the dead remain unconscious until Judgment, when the wicked will be