13th December 2015

On the third Sunday in advent we celebrate Guadete Sunday. The word Gaudete means rejoice and is reflected in the words of the Latin mass which in English begins:

 ‘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.’ ( Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1)

Advent is a penitential season: a time when we prepare ourselves spiritually to receive Jesus Christ. As Christians, one of the biggest barriers that we face to a full relationship with God is our sinful nature. At its most basic level, that is our failure to place God first. It is a struggle that is part of all human nature and not always conscious but one which thankfully, God forgives when we turn back to him. During advent the liturgy and the scripture that we read helps us to reflect upon our lives and renew our commitment to follow Christ. To repent – which actually means, ‘turn back’. 

On Gaudete Sunday there is a short break from this period of reflection during which we can rejoice and celebrate that Christ has already died for us and a time to be excited about the glory that will come at Christmas. Traditionally, a rose coloured candle is lit on this day and rose coloured vestments can be worn instead of purple.  

I continue to pray that you have a good advent. To miss it in the mayhem that is commercial Christmas is to miss out on the opportunity to prepare yourself fully to meet Jesus: it dampens the spiritual joy that comes when we welcome Christ into the world. 

Advent  blessings,



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