Third Sunday of Advent in
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The Third Sunday of Advent, also recognized as Gaudete Sunday, is an essential religious occasion within Christianity. Observance of this day indicates the halfway point of Advent, a period of preparation leading up to Christmas. The joyful anticipation of Jesus Christ's birth sets this Sunday apart. The pink or rose candle, representing joy, is distinctively lighted on this day in the Advent wreath. This specific candle emphasizes the pivotal point of Advent, the celebratory pause in preparation, and the anticipation of Christmas eve.
The Third Sunday of Advent holds high significance in Sweden, just like in other Christian dominated countries. As early as the 4th century, this observance was part of the Christian liturgical calendar, but it took its root in Sweden during the Middle Ages. This day is deeply entwined with Swedish culture and folklore, intricately linked with Lucia, a martyr saint venerated on December 13th who brings light into the dark Swedish winters. The reverence for Lucia coincides with the essence of Gaudete Sunday, bringing joy and anticipation.
In Sweden, the Third Sunday of Advent is observed with rich customs and traditions. Churches hold special services, where the pink advent candle is lighted, signifying the joyous tone of the season. Traditional food is often shared, and carols sung to warm the winter chill. The celebration also includes light-hearted symbolisms like wearing rose-colored vestments and the lighting of bonfires, conveying the uplifting spirit of Gaudete Sunday. The third Sunday of Advent typically falls on the Sunday closest to December 13th, intermingling with the festivities of the Feast of Lucia.
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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