The third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday. This comes from the first word of the Entrance Antiphon at Mass. Gaudete is a Latin word that means Rejoice. “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.”
Traditionally, the season of Advent is a penitential period similar to the season of Lent. We are encouraged to embrace a spirit of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to prepare us spiritually to encounter the Lord on Christmas Day. The violet vestments and liturgical decorations symbolize this penitential mindset. Gaudete Sunday celebrates the fact that we are nearer to the coming of the Lord than when we began Advent. We have reason to rejoice because our Lord and Savior is coming closer to His arrival in our lives.
We express this reality that the Lord is near by wearing rose colored vestments and lighting the rose colored candle. We also have three candles lit, which reminds us that the Light of the Christ is getting brighter as we get closer to his coming.
What do all of these liturgical traditions mean for you and me in our daily lives? The closer we allow ourselves to become to Jesus, the greater His light shines in and through us. We become more joyful the more we encounter the presence our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are built for relationship with Him.
I encourage you to embrace this Advent season as an opportunity to grow in Faith, Hope, and Love. Be assured of my prayers for you. Thank you for praying for me.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Jim Lowe, CC