The Second Sunday of Advent - Reflection by Canon Leslie


Join us for worship online and read Canon Leslie's blog post for the Second Sunday of Advent, 6 December 2020.

Last Sunday, Advent Sunday, marked the beginning of the Church’s new year, and started Year B of the Church’s three-year lectionary cycle. This is the year when most of the Sunday Gospel readings come from Mark’s Gospel. The liturgical colour for advent is purple. Purple marks a serious season of penitence, as God’s people prepare the way for the coming of their Lord. The Gospel readings for Advent set the theme of keeping watch, keeping awake, keeping ready for the Lord’s coming.

Last week, on Advent Sunday, the Gospel reading from Mark 13 was simple and direct. The clarion call was ‘keep awake!’ Today on the Second Sunday of Advent the Gospel reading from the opening chapter of Mark’s Gospel introduces John the Baptist, the messenger, the forerunner, the one who came crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!’ Last Sunday we lit the first purple candle on the Advent wreath. Today we light the second purple candle on the Advent wreath, and in doing so we think of John the Baptist stepping out to prepare the way for Jesus.

These days running up to Christmas are busy days for all of us. There is a lot to do, a lot to get ready, and a lot to think about. For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited you to focus on the image of Christmas adverts. Christmas adverts remind us of the priorities that are being set in the world all around us and challenge us to shape our own priorities in a way that allows room for the Advent theme to shape our lives. In today’s picture, from their book Christmas Crib Service, Aled and Sian are exploring the Advent tree in their local church.

Next Sunday, on the third Sunday of Advent, the Gospel theme stays with John the Baptist, but this time draws on John’s Gospel. The image to help us prepare for the third Sunday of Advent, whether offline in the cathedral or online at home, is making presents. You can find out more about that theme here We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials. Please send us your ideas and photos of the things you may create; email them to

To find out more about Christmas Crib Service and other adventures with Aled and Sian, please visit the following page of the St. Mary’s Centre website:

We warmly invite you to join us in worship online here:

Aled and Sian send their Sunday greetings to all.

Canon Leslie