This week marks the first Sunday of Advent. The cloths on the altar and the vestments of the priests (previously green, for Ordinary Time) switch to purple, and the Advent wreath (above) is brought out, dusted off, and put to good use.
Truthfully, some of the symbolism behind these liturgical elements is lost on me. But I appreciate them for their role in marking time. Time moves forward, even as it circles back around. And the changing liturgical colors - like the autumn leaves - seem to say, "Hey - you did it! You made it through again. Welcome to a new/old season. You've arrived."