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BVM Blog – Walk With Us

Advent Week Three

December 17, 2017 · By: Eileen O'Shea, BVM Associate · 5 Comments

Advent is my favorite season of the Church Year.  I love all the Advent Hymns, especially “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”  My parish is using the refrain “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel” as the response to the penitential rite during the Advent Liturgies.  The refrain is especially appropriate on Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent.  On Gaudete Sunday we shift our reflections from “the Lord is coming” to the “the Lord is Near.” 

This year the 3rd Sunday of Advent falling just eight days before Christmas that shift seems especially timely.  This shift is marked by a lighter mood, and a heightened sense of joyous anticipation.

Liturgically, the colors lighten as well. The priest usually wears rose-colored vestments, a hue seen only on Gaudete Sunday and Laetare Sunday. On this day, we light the third candle of the Advent wreath, which is also rose-colored.

The word “Gaudete” is Latin for “Rejoice.” In times when the focus of our anticipation is often on the negative and fearful, this celebration is a reminder that God, who loves us, is still in charge, and that we await his coming not with fear, but with tremendous joy. This is reflected in the second reading for the day from the first letter to the Thessalonians: “Brothers and sisters, rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you, in Christ Jesus.”

So as we approach this last week of Advent, I invite you to join with me in the anticipatory JOY of Christmas.

Categories: Advent · BVM Life and Mission · BVM Spirituality · Reflections

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rose Mary Meyer // Dec 18, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Thank you, Eileen. Very hopeful message for this beautiful season of Advent.
  • 2 C Jean Hayen, BVM // Dec 18, 2017 at 10:33 PM

    Eileen, a great reminder that we are invited to rejoice! Advent blessings, Jean
  • 3 Patricia Bombard // Dec 19, 2017 at 8:38 AM

    Thank you, Eileen, for helping each of us to extend our reflections on joy further into this third week of Advent. At home or at work, we can ask ourselves, "How can I be that joy for others?" "How can I help make my home or my office a place of joy?" May the grace and blessings of Advent continue to spread among us now and into the new year.
  • 4 Lori Ritz // Dec 20, 2017 at 12:22 PM

    Thanks, Eileen, for sharing your reflection. It caused me to think more about joy. Blessings during this final week of Advent.
  • 5 Liz Olsen, BVM // Dec 20, 2017 at 11:31 PM

    Thanks Eileen,
    I appreciate what you shared. Liturgically, Advent is my favorite season, too.

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