You will notice that this Sunday we light the rose colored candle in the Advent wreath. Sometimes called Rose Sunday, rose colored vestments may also be worn. The special name for the third Sunday in Advent is Gaudete Sunday, the Latin word meaning “rejoice” after Philippians 4:4, often used as an Introit for this day. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice…”
Gaudete Sunday was intended as a respite from the fasting and penitence which once accompanied this season. The Church no longer requires fasting during Advent, but the theme of rejoicing is a welcome relief from the apocalyptic themes that run parallel to the themes surrounding the birth of Jesus.
Every once in awhile it’s a good idea to “lighten up” and remember the Good News of the coming of Christ. However threatening the dark clouds on the horizon might look to us from time to time, the bright light and warmth of God’s love for us will always prevail. On that rests our hope and our faith.
Rejoice in the Lord always!