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Examine Scripture

The Rose Color of Gaudete Sunday

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Philippians 4:4-5….

This Third Sunday of Advent, we see a change in the color from purple to rose (pink) as we prepare for the coming of the Lord:

Rejoice in the Lord always… The Lord is near. -Philippians 4:4-5, NAB

Last year, I covered a bit of the meaning of Gaudete Sunday (read here), but I wanted to ensure that our hearts are prepared for the joyous time ahead of us.

Why Gaudete Sunday?  What does gaudete mean?  On the Third Sunday of Advent, the Mass begins with this verse from Philippians 4.  In Latin, it reads, “Gaudete in Domino semper“, so the term gaudete comes directly from the Latin translation.

Why the rose color vestments then?  Throughout Advent, similar to Lent, purple is used to remind us that we are in a season of penance and reflection.  Prior to our celebrations, we are preparing ourselves for the feast by seeking forgiveness for our sins.

At this point, we are nearing Christmas, and we can begin to shift our focus from inner reflection to the celebration of the birth of our Savior.  As Philippians 4 tells us, “The Lord is near.”  The rose color then is the signal that we can be a little more excited about the time ahead of us.

The countdown is on.  Christmas is right around the corner – just 10 days away!  The rose color of Gaudete Sunday tells us that our Lord will be here soon.  May the Lord bless you and yours in the coming days as we celebrate this wonderful season together.


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