Here is the chanted Introit - with translation below - from which this Sunday gets it name:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.Philipians, 4:4-6: Psalm 85(84):1
|Madonna in the Rose Garden Stephan Lochner, ca 1448|
Prepare the way by proclaiming good news. The early church gave the title "Gaudete" to the third Sunday in Advent. The word simply means, "Rejoice!" When you are joyful about something, you share that good news. Think of the custom of the family Christmas letter. Many families will send out letters during these holidays, summarizing the joyful family news of the past year: the birth of a grandchild, a new job, etc. If such joyful events are considered worthy of sharing, how much more the goo news that the Son of God came into our world to save us from sins! Moreover, he is coming again to take believers to an eternity of glory. That is good news believers need to hear again and again. It is a message that we with joyful faith yearn to share with a world that is in desperate need of some good news.
The joyful nature of this Sunday is illustrated by the lone, rose-colored candle on the Advent wreath. It hints of the joyful birth that we are soon to celebrate.
It is our hope that your week has been filled with rejoining.