This section is from "The American Cyclopaedia", by George Ripley And Charles A. Dana. Also available from Amazon: The New American Cyclopędia. 16 volumes complete..
Advent, the period of four weeks preceding Christmas, appointed by several Christian churches to be observed in honor of the approach of the anniversary of Christ's nativity. It formerly occupied six weeks, and that is still the case in the Greek church. It commences with the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew's day (Nov. 30). In England and some parts of the European continent, marriages can be performed only by special license during this period.