The Third Sunday in Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday, Rejoice Sunday, or sometimes Pink Sunday. Today, at St. James, the Bartlett Family lit the third of the advent candles, the pink one. The clergy also wears pink vestments today.
Gaudete in Latin means “rejoice.” Advent is a time of penance and preparation. Gaudete Sunday, in our Anglican tradition, is a mid-advent time to break and rejoice.
Our cantor begins the introit (Philippians 4) with: Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice ye; let your moderation be known unto all men, the Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing, nor troubled; but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving; let your request be made known unto God. (Psalm 85) Lord, thou art become gracious unto thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. GLORY BE…
C. Behold .. the Lord shall appear …
R. and will not tarry, and will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will manifest himself to all nations, Alleluia.
Scripture Reading for the Advent wreath ceremony, third Sunday: Isaiah 4O:1-5 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lords’ hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
C. Christ, arise, help us.
R. And deliver us for thy Name’s sake.
C.. Come and save us, O Lord God of hosts.
R. Show the light of thy countenance, and we shall be whole.
C. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
C. Let us pray. Incline thine ear to our prayers, O Lord, we beseech thee; and lighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of thy visitation; Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
And after the Advent Wreath Ceremony, the priest celebrates the Mass. Today’s Gospel reading was from Saint Matthew 11, beginning at the second verse:
Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
John was in prison and had a moment of doubt. He is supposed to be the voice in the desert, pointing the way to the Lamb of God and he did. But now that he has been inhibited and imprisoned, he doubts and wants to make sure Jesus is the Messiah.
And Jesus gives John and his disciples clear evidence and signs of vitality in God’s Kingdom.”Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blink receive their sights, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the def hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosever shall not be offended in me.”
Like John often we could be imprisoned by our own life situation through our feelings, struggles, thoughts, and belief system that can undermine our faith in a loving and living God. We wonder where God is.
I think the point today is no matter what, rejoice always. When everything is dark and gloomy, rejoice! When everything is good, rejoice! Call out to Him always, no matter what we feel and REJOICE!
Corrie ten Boom once said, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
Trust God. He’s the Greatest Engineer. And Rejoice. Always!