Third Sunday of Advent in
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The Third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday, marks the halfway point of the Advent season. The word "Gaudete" is derived from Latin, which means "rejoice," reflecting the joyful anticipation of the upcoming Christmas feast. The liturgical colors of the day are rose or pink, providing a break from the solemn purple or blue colors of the Advent season. This day serves as a reminder for Christians to rejoice in hope, despite the waiting and penitence associated with the season.
While the history of the Third Sunday of Advent dates back to early Christian communities, it continues to hold significance in the United States. American Christians observe this day as part of their preparation for Christmas, honoring both the birth of Jesus Christ and his eventual return. Several denominations, including Roman Catholic, Episcopal, and Lutheran churches, incorporate Gaudete Sunday into their traditional liturgical calendars. This day provides an opportunity for American Christians to reflect on the joy and hope symbolized by the approaching Christmas celebration, even amidst the difficulties and uncertainties of modern life.
The Third Sunday of Advent is observed by attending special worship services that emphasize messages of hope and joy. Church decorations and vestments often include the color rose, reflecting the theme of rejoicing. In conjunction with prayer and reflection, some American families also mark Gaudete Sunday by lighting the rose-colored candle in their Advent wreath, symbolizing the anticipation of Christ's coming. This observance occurs on the third Sunday of Advent, falling between December 11th and December 17th, depending on the year.
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References and related siteswww.learnreligions.com: What is Gaudete Sunday www.newadvent.org: Facts on Gaudete Sunday www.ncronline.org: Gaudete Sunday