The third Sunday in Advent is December 12th. Be prepared to celebrate the third week in Advent by looking at ideas for that week. Here’s what we have on our calendar; pick one or two to add to your household’s activities that week, along with reading the Sunday Gospels together and attending Mass. In addition, Communal Penance will be that Sunday (the 12th) at 4 p.m. at St. Anthony.
December 12: Celebrate Gaudete Sunday
The Third Sunday in Advent is called Gaudete Sunday. The Latin word gaudete means rejoice. At Mass, the priest wears the color rose–a sign of joy–and we light a rose or pink colored candle on the Advent wreath to represent the joy we feel to welcome Jesus at Christmas.
- Traditionally, this Sunday is also referred to as “Bambinelli Sunday.” Families take the baby Jesus from their creche to be blessed by their priest. Take yours to Mass today!
- Eat chicken pot pie for supper, the chicken symbolically representing the baby in the manger (the pie).
December 12: Celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe
(Since this feast day falls on a Sunday this year, it is technically superseded by celebrating Sunday, but you can still add some of these ideas to your plans!)
- Read the story of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
- Decorate with roses, like those Juan Diego found.
- Eat Mexican food. Eat some of your favorites or try something different. Tamales are a special meal that often includes the whole family helping with filling them. Tres leches cake is another special Mexican treat. If you want to try something new, check out food ideas at Catholic Cuisine.
- Pray the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- (Older youth and adults) Watch the movie Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message on Amazon. (Will include ads.)
December 13: Celebrate St. Lucy
- Read about St. Lucy.
- There are many traditional recipes to eat on the Feast of St. Lucy! Two easy ones are St. Lucia braided bread, either homemade or a “hacked” version (buy a can of cinnamon rolls, unwind each roll, braid the strands, form the braid into a circle, and bake. Glaze with the icing.). Another recipe is St. Lucy soup, here from Catholic Cuisine.
- Pray the prayer to St. Lucy. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.) Click on the video following the prayer to watch a traditional St. Lucy procession and listen to the song, Santa Lucia.
- Enjoy your meals by candlelight.
- One tradition involves having the eldest daughter waking and serving the rest of the family breakfast breads, while dressed as St. Lucy in white with a red sash and a wreath on her head. See other traditions here.
- St. Lucy is the patron saint of the blind. In her honor, gather up old eye glasses and donate them to the Lion’s Club to be distributed through their optical missions around the world. Contact your optometrist’s office to find out if they are a drop-off location.
- Take a walk or drive around your neighborhood to look at light displays, as St. Lucy’s name means light. How many religious displays can you find?
December 14: Celebrate St. John of the Cross
St. John of the Cross worked with St. Teresa of Avila to reform the Carmelite order in the sixteenth century. He is known for his spiritual writings, which had an enormous impact on the development of the Catholic contemplative tradition.
- Read about St. John.
- Make peanut butter kiss cookies. The brown cookie reminds us of the wood of the cross (and is the color of the Carmelite habit) and the chocolate kiss represents the love St. John had for the cross.
- Pray a Prayer from the Canticle of St. John of the Cross.
December 17: Pope Francis’ Birthday
- Send Pope Francis a birthday card! His address is:
- His Holiness Pope Francis
- 00120 Vatican City
December 17-23: Observe the O Antiphons
- Add the O Antiphons to your prayers around the Advent candles each night during these days. These ancient chants are part of the octave before Christmas, and highlight the various names of Jesus and prophecies regarding his arrival. You can read more on them here.
Advent Activities At St. Anthony:
We have several opportunities to help you grow in faith during Advent as we prepare for the coming of Jesus.
- December 5: Advent Adventure! Youth in high school and middle school will discover what’s special about Advent and probably dig up some fun and cookies along the way! 7 to 8:15 in the parish hall.
- December 8: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception (holy day of obligation). Mass times will be 5 p.m. at St. Anthony, and 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart. This is a holy day of obligation. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, also called Immaculate Conception Day, celebrates the belief in the sinless lifespan and Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, celebrated on December 8, nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary, celebrated on September 8.
- December 12: A Communal Penance service will be held at St. Anthony at 4 p.m.
- December 15: Stations of the Nativity. A favorite parish Advent activity returns! All parishioners are welcome to gather in church to focus through song and scripture on the coming of Emmanuel. 6:30 p.m. in the church, with refreshments to follow, ending by 7:30.
- December 18-19: Christmas drive for Helping Hands. We’ll collect more hearty soups, ravioli, canned meat, peanut butter and other foods that are harder to come by.
- December 19: Confirming the Gift of Faith. As we prepare to get and give Christmas gifts, let’s discover the special gifts of the Holy Spirit and explore the sacrament of Confirmation. We’ll see how Mary and the saints share their gifts to reveal God’s love to the world. Faith formation gathering for all ages, from 9 to 10:15 a.m.
- December 23: Decorate the church for Christmas! The Liturgy Commission invites all members of the parish to join us as we “deck the halls” for Christmas at 9 a.m.
- St. Anthony’s Online Advent Center is full of reflections, music playlists, prayers, and more.