… is the third Sunday of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western Church, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Churches, and other mainline Protestant churches. It can fall on any date from 11 December to 17 December.
On Gaudete Sunday rose-coloured vestments may be worn instead of violet, (or in the Anglican tradition and some Lutheran traditions, Sarum blue) which is otherwise prescribed for every day in the season of Advent. This tradition, previously informally observed in the Anglican Church… In churches which have an Advent wreath, the rose coloured candle is lit in addition to two of the violet (or blue) coloured candles, which represent the first two Sundays of Advent. Despite the otherwise somber readings of the season of Advent, which has as a secondary theme the need for penitence, the readings on the third Sunday emphasize the joyous anticipation of the Lord’s coming.
And a Collect:
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Over at Euangelion:
Why are there so many different themes attached to the four Advent Candles (purple and pink). A survey of websites and books on Advent surface a number of options. Does anyone know why there are so many different traditions? Is there a source that has researched this phenomenon?
Here’s just are some examples:
Promise, Light, Love, Hope
Hope, Peace, Joy, Love
Prophecy, Bethlehem, Shepherd, Angel
Hope, Preparation, Joy, Love
Prophecy, Way, Joy, Peace
Expectation, John the Baptist, Mary, Magi
Waiting for the Shepherd, Waiting for Forgiveness, Waiting for Joy, Waiting for the Son.
As Advent begins:
On this First Sunday of Advent:
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
And so our work, in the Lord, begins anew…
Wherein Fr Z reflects:
The Roman historian Livy wrote about the terminal decline of the Roman Republic that “Nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus… We can bear neither our vices nor the remedies.”
Alas, I fear that our vices have called forth precisely the leaders that reflect those vices. The vices feed the leaders, and they the vices.
We may no longer have the collective will to make the changes that must be made to change course.
The last couple days have prompted me to reflect on the Church’s primary job: to keep as many people out of hell as possible.
People will chose to sin, die in sin, no matter what we do to help them to a different course. We must strive to help save ourselves and as many others as possible.
St Augustine one day, in his basilica in Hippo, one day was preaching a tough message. He broke off his line of thought and explained that if he didn’t preach his tough message he could not be saved. If they listen or didn’t listen he was going to preach anyway and thus save his soul. “But” he concluded, “Nolo salvus esse sine vobis! … I don’t want to be saved without you!”
Now that we in the USA are, I think, are on a course toward the iceberg, we need to think soberly about how we will approach the time and resources we have left.
During this time when Benedict XVI has called us to revive the Faith where it has died or still just slumbers, get to work.
Will our shepherds be able to bear applying the remedies?
Augustine also said that the doctor doesn’t stop cutting just because the patient is screaming for him to stop.
Think frequent confession.
Think fallen away Catholics.
Think Four Last Things.
“Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.
“An old abbot was fond of saying, ‘The devil is always the most active on the highest feast days.’
“The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating, preparing food, practicing music and cleaning in preparation for the feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos—the list of clouds that busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all.”
– Edward Hayes
On The Sacred Page:
… My father once served as chaplain for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (New London, CT)—this Gospel reminds me of the US Coast Guard motto: semper paratus, “always prepared.” This should be the motto of the Christian life as well. We do not know the time of the return of Christ (despite Harold Camping’s antics) or the time of our own death and particular judgment. What should we be doing in the meanwhile? Our Lord refers to “placing servants in charge, each with his work.” As we wait for the Lord, it is best to be busy about the work that God has left in our charge, trying to be faithful in our own generation. Doing our professional work well and with excellence; fulfilling our duties to family with care and love; speaking of Christ to any who will listen; living a lifestyle of prayer, modesty, and acts of self-denial—if we are busy about these things we can anticipate the coming of Christ with joy, not fear.
Read from the start here.