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Third Sunday of Advent

Announcements from our bulletin of December 16, 2018

Today has traditionally been called Gaudete Sunday. The Latin tag is derived from Paul's appeal in the second reading to rejoice always in the Lord, and the Latin Mass text based on that reading. The irony and paradox of this Christian joy is underlined by the fact that Paul wrote those words in prison. But from there he could see the progress of Gods work.

Is it obvious to us?
We feel that this is not the time for joy when there is so much suffering and moral evil. It is interesting, then, that the first reading is from the prophet Zephaniah, who is almost exclusively concerned with gloomy visions of Judgment Day. Today the Church selects the only optimistic text in Zephaniah, in which the prophet has been touched by the spirit of joy. This, we are assured on all sides, is the season of joy. Let us recapture that feeling of joy in our lives and reflect it to those who are joyless.

Share with your family the Christmas Novena while we prepare for the birth of Jesus.

Sunday, December 16th to Sunday, December 23rd at 7:30 PM at Church.

Years ago, the trick question on religion quizzes would be to name all the liturgical colors, or the colors of the vestments worn at Mass. Rose is a color seldom seen, used at most two days a year. Today, “Gaudete Sunday,” is one of those days. The name of the day is drawn from an opening verse in the old Latin Mass texts: Gaudete is Latin for “Rejoice!” This year’s Gospel certainly reflects that mood as Elizabeth feels her infant within her leaping for joy at the presence of Mary. Mary’s visit to her aged cousin is an act of compassion between women, as two kinswomen who are bearing children into the world share their joy.

Some churches retain the custom of having the priest wear rose vestments today, and many will use a rose candle in the Advent wreath. Violet is the official color for Advent and Lent, but many parishes employ different hues for each season, trying to keep them distinct. In medieval times, dye was costly, and poor parishes used unornamented plain cloth for vestments. Dyes were expensive and some colors, particularly purple, difficult to achieve. In England, purple dye was made from mollusks, yielding at best a deep indigo or blue and not the desired violet. Thus, the color of Advent in the British Isles has long been a deep blue, reminding many people of Mary’s presence at the heart of the Advent mystery. That theology is largely unplanned: it’s all because of the clams!