Rome, Italy. Fr. Giuseppe Gnocchi, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, today lamented a growing trend around the world - the premature celebration of Advent. "A not insignificant amount of Catholics are ignoring the Liturgical Calendar, and are instead celebrating Advent way in advance." Margie Hopkins of Pittsburgh noted, "This year, I had my Advent wreath up a week before Halloween."
Many Catholics are shirking the Church's calendar because they are seeking more silence and introspection. Jay Johnson from Cheyenne shared that "4 weeks isn't even close to the amount of time that I need to spiritually prepare for the birth of the King of Kings." Johnson says he celebrates a 12 week Advent.
Companies are planning to capitalize on the trend. Walgreens has announced plans to sell electronic Advent wreaths starting July 5th. Lowe's will also have an "Advent Wonderland" starting the day after Labor Day.