A postcard from the Third Sunday of Advent 12/12/21

Advent Wreath, the Episcopal Church of the Messiah, Heflin, AL

So what’s the deal with the pink candle?

To be a bit more liturgically correct, we usually call it a “rose” candle. The third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for “rejoice” and is associated with this Sunday because Philippians 4:4 was often used as part of the service: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”

Advent and Lent used to look a lot more alike, with a focus on penitence and preparation. The more recent custom of the church in Advent is to focus on expectant preparation and waiting. But when it was a season of fasting, Gaudete Sunday served as a break in the season of fasting. Its counterpart in Lent is the fourth Sunday in Lent known as Laetare Sunday.

So this week is a time to take a break, to wear some pink, and to rejoice. In the words of the Prophet Isaiah:

Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 12:6

A sermon from the Church of the Messiah in Heflin:

Principal text: Luke 3:7-18

Audio only available here

Coming next

Next week we will go back in time to hear the story of the visit of Mary to Elizabeth and to hear the powerful words of the Magnificat.

  • Dec. 19 – Messiah, Heflin – 4th Sunday of Advent
  • Dec. 24 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke, & Messiah, Heflin – Christmas Eve
  • Dec. 26 – St. Paul’s, Greensboro – 1st Sunday after Christmas

Published by akhudlow

I am a priest in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama. I am a church nerd, printmaker, storyteller, and blogger.

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