The Institute for Christian Formation
Add this page to your favorites.
Second Sunday of Advent
December 6, 2015
Today is the Second Sunday of Advent.  When you light your Advent Wreath today, and each day this Second Week of Advent, you will light two violet candles. 

Our Gospel for today, Luke 3:1-6, features one of our major Advent personages, John the Baptist.  This Gospel quotes the prophet Isaiah, and makes the connection between Isaiah’s prophecy and John the Baptist as the messenger fulfilling this prophecy.

St. John the Baptist
Michael Damaskinos
16th Century

As December 6 is on a Sunday this year, in our liturgy we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent.  But December 6 is also the feast day (optional memorial) of Saint Nicholas, one of the best known Advent Saints, and perhaps one of the most widely known  of all the saints! Find out more about Saint Nicholas and traditions surrounding his feast day by visiting our Saint Nicholas web page at the link above!
Happy Saint Nicholas Feast Day!
John the Baptist is an interesting Biblical character.  As a prophet preparing the way for Jesus, he acts a a bridge, as it were, between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures.

John can also be viewed as an eccentric character, as he is described in other Scripture passages as wearing clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He wears sandals, and his diet consists of locusts and honey.  Children, especially, love these details about John the Baptist. Let children create their own artistic depiction of the Baptist. In honor of John the Baptist, enjoy some honey today, perhaps with a biscuit at dinner or in a cup of tea during the afternoon or evening.

Loyola Press, as part of their Intergenerational Advent Event, has materials for a John the Baptist activity center, which includes a script for a simple play about John the Baptist, a simple John the Baptist song for young children, a John the Baptist coloring page, as well as a recipe for “grasshopper” (think locust!) cookies.  You can access these pages at the Loyola Press web site here.  

In your prayer today, include the hymn, "On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry."   You can download this hymn here.