Song du Jour

Song du Jour

Benedictine Thoughts, Teachings, and Prayers

Gaudete Sunday

December 17, 2012


We think:

~ our word “gaudy” comes from Gaudete

~ the third candle is “pink”

~ “pink’ vestments

~it is Latin for “REJOICE”

~ Gaudete in Domino simper means “Rejoice in the Lord always”

~ the “pink” candle gives us a joyful sense


In the early Church, Lent was the only season of fasting and penitence. Candles were lit back then to symbolize time; seven candles were lit for the seven weeks of Lent. It was the custom on Laetare Sunday (the third Sunday in Lent), for the Pope to give a citizen a “pink rose.” Following this papal “rose” custom, bishops and priests began wearing rose colored vestments on Laetare Sunday. This custom evolved from a Lenten practice of rose vestments on Laetare Sunday to wearing rose vestments on Gaudete Sunday in Advent. The “pink candle” gained its place in the Advent wreath. The Church reminds us that through the “pink candle” of Advent, there is an appointed time for everything. (Ecc 3:1). Scripture is saying that the time is now for rejoicing because the Lord is coming soon.


The custom of the Advent wreath came from pre-Christian Germanic peoples whose evergreen wreaths and fires signify hope in the darkness of December.

Advent is patterned in part after Lent. The purple candles represent: prayer, penance, sacrifices, and good works. The pink candle is a color for joy and rejoicing. 


First purple candle = HOPE

Second purple candle = PEACE

Third purple candle = JOY

Fourth purple candle = LOVE


It is the “pink candle” that speaks to us with its joyful color.


The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor,
to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,
to announce a year of favor from the LORD
and a day of vindication by our God.

-Isaiah 61:1-2

The prophetic and poetic texts of the Book of Isaiah are some of my favorite of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures.  This is the third Sunday of Advent which is also known as Gaudete Sunday, Gaudete meaning “rejoice” in Latin.  During this time of waiting, of growing darkness, we begin to sense the nearness of a new birthing. (Taken from: Catholichotdish).


This week is also the last seven days before the winter Solstice.  In the coming days the Northern hemisphere will grow darker and darker and the days will reach its shortest length.


In this text from Isaiah 48:6-7:

Now I am revealing new things to you
Things hidden and unknown to you
Created just now, this very moment.
Of these things you have heard nothing until now.
So that you cannot say, “Oh yes, I knew this.”


This quote from Isaiah is what I have been relaying to you in my recent blog regarding the mysteries of Advent that are hidden from us until the appointed time.

There are many symbols in life that help us remember where we were in different times and ages of our lives and that all things take place in our lives at the appointed time. When I was twelve years old, the latest rage was “charm bracelets.” There was a charm for every occasion but that also was suited to you personally. So, when I was twelve years old, my parents gave me my first charm bracelet which in essence, begins to tell the story of your life. Now after many decades of a lull in purchasing any charms, I was now in my forties wanting to add to my charm bracelet. At this point in my life while I was seeking and searching for God, I wanted a silver charm to say what I was experiencing in God revealing thoughts to me, a little at a time. As I gazed into the charm case, I saw exactly what I wanted: a “funnel.” It was staring me in the face…a large one and a small one. I chose the small one allowing me to understand God’s plan for me and what he wanted me to know. I saw another bracelet with charms that had African Trader’s beads instead of sterling silver. In my creativity, I decided to have a friend of mine take all of the charms off of my sterling silver charm bracelet and make me a necklace using my charms along with African Trader’s beads that would tell the story of my life. This is where I wanted my “funnel” to go.


The poem below seems to relate to walking in fog, the dark, and the unknown. It isn’t until afterwards that the light comes on and we realize what had happened to us and why it did. God keeps us in the dark as well as hidden so that when we realize his greatness, we are more in awe than we ever were.


To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

-Wendell Berry


“May this week you discover the blooming, singing darkness.  May you encounter the God of hidden things who is revealing something new to you at this very moment of which you knew nothing of its existence. May you be blessed by holy darkness.”-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts


Song du jour:             Creator of the Stars of Night


Creator of the stars of night,
Thy people’s everlasting Light;
Jesu, Redeemer, save us all,
And hear thy servants when they call.

Thou, grieving that the ancient curse
Should doom to death an universe,
Hast found the med’cine, full of grace,
To save and heal a ruin’d race.

Thou cam’st, the Bridegroom of the Bride,
As drew the world to evening-tide;
Proceeding from a Virgin shrine,
The spotless Victim all divine.

At whose dread Name, majestic now,
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow
And things celestial thee shall own,
And things terrestrial, Lord alone.

O thou, whose coming is with dread
To judge and doom the quick and dead,
Preserve us, while we dwell below,
From ev’ry insult of the foe.

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Laud, honour, might, and glory be
From age to age eternally. Amen.

For Advent

Words: Conditor alme siderum, Ambrosian, 6th or 7th Century,
Translated by Rev. John Mason Neale.


“That in all things God may be glorified!”

Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, OSB

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