This Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent and is known as Gaudete Sunday,or sometimes as Rose Sunday. The name Gaudete is the Ecclesiastical Latin term for Rejoiceand comes from the opening word of the Introit in the liturgy, “Rejoice ye in the Lord, and again I say, rejoice ye.” Insofar as Advent, like Lent, is a penitential season of introspection and confession, it carries with it a somber tone that is generated from our realization that we often do not live our lives as if we are truly ready for the return of the King. In the midst of this introspection, this Sunday lifts the somber tone slightly and reminds us that we do not mourn for our sin as those who are without hope, but rather as those who can say, “Rejoice,”for the King has come who has conquered sin and this King will, “Come again and receive us unto himself, that where He is, there we may also be.”(John 14:3)
The priest’s change to pink/rose colored vestments versus the deeper purple/violet that is customary throughout the season,provides a visual reminder of this. Furthermore, the flowers of the altar, that are absent during penitential seasons, return to the altar as a reminder that from the winter of penitence comes the sprouting of new life as we are able to repent and recommit our lives to the King.
May you be reminded this Sunday that we rejoice in anticipation for the coming of the King!
(as published in St Luke’s weekly newsletter, 12/12/18)