Third Sunday of Advent

Third Sunday of Advent Quick Facts - AU

AKA NameGaudete Sunday
HashtagsCompiled on#Advent
Related Hashtags#Advent, #Joy, #Christmas
2024 Date15 December 2024

Third Sunday of Advent

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Third Sunday of Advent is a significant observance in the Christian liturgical calendar, marking an important stage in the season of preparation for Christmas. It is known as Gaudete Sunday, stemming from the Latin term Gaudete, meaning 'rejoice'. Its purpose is to instil joy and anticipation among believers ahead of the birth of Jesus Christ. This occasion is symbolised by the lighting of the pink candle on the Advent wreath, a marked departure from the other three purple candles, signifying joy amid a period of penitential preparation and contemplation.

Historically, the Third Sunday of Advent originates from the Roman Catholic tradition but is observed by many other Christian denominations. In Australia, where roughly 52% of the population identify as Christian, the Third Sunday of Advent carries widespread significance. The history of Christianity in Australia dates back to the British colonisation in the late 18th century, making traditions such as Advent an integral part of Australian religious observance, though variations exist amongst different denominations.

In terms of how this day is observed in Australia, many churches hold special services on Gaudete Sunday where the priest may wear rose-coloured vestments as a sign of joy and elation. Australian worshippers often participate in communal activities such as singing carols and partaking in Advent-focused bible readings. Moreover, the lighting of the Advent wreath’s pink candle is a unifying event across many Christian households. The Third Sunday of Advent in Australia aligns with the global liturgical calendar, typically taking place on the third Sunday in December, roughly two weeks before Christmas Day.

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Third Sunday of Advent facts & quotes

  • The Third Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice in Latin. The origin of Gaudete Sunday comes from the bible verse Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near.
  • A theme surrounding the Third Sunday of Advent is joy. Theologian and priest Henri Nouwen described joy as, the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing-sickness failure, emotional distress, war, or even death- can take that love away.
  • The rose-colored candle is lit on the third Sunday as a break from the penitential purple of the other three candles. This lighter, brighter color reminds us of the joy that is coming with Christmas.
  • The liturgical color for the Third Sunday of Advent is rose, symbolizing joy and hope in the midst of the penitential season of Advent. On this day, priests may opt to wear rose-colored vestments, rather than the more common violet or purple.
  • Christmas preparations and traditions, such as attending Christmas markets, carol singing events, and performing nativity plays, often take place in local communities across Australia during the Third Sunday of Advent.

Top things to do in Australia for Third Sunday of Advent

  • Pray and rejoice with joyfulness. The Third Sunday represents joy, an emotion that can be experienced through God's love.
  • Visit various Christmas markets, like the Carriageworks Christmas Market in Sydney, where you can shop for unique gifts, sample festive treats, and enjoy the holiday atmosphere.
  • Join in the festive spirit by attending a Carols by Candlelight event. These events are held across the country, with the largest being the Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne and the Carols in the Domain in Sydney.

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