Third Sunday of Advent

Third Sunday of Advent Quick Facts - SE

AKA NameGaudete Sunday, Advent 3
HashtagsCompiled on#Advent
Related Hashtags#Advent, #Joy, #Christmas
2023 Date17 December 2023
2024 Date15 December 2024

Third Sunday of Advent

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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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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 Third Sunday of Advent is called "Gaudete Sunday" from the Latin word "gaudete," which means "rejoice." It is a day to celebrate the joy and anticipation of the upcoming birth of Christ. The name comes from the opening words of the Latin Mass, "Gaudete in Domino semper" ("Rejoice in the Lord always").
  • Gaudete Sunday is known for the use of rose-colored vestments and decorations in churches. This is a break from the usual purple or deep blue colors used during Advent. The rose color symbolizes joy and hope and reminds the congregation of the approaching Christmas celebration.

Top things to do in Sweden 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 local churches in Sweden for Advent services, where traditional hymns and Advent messages are shared. Notable churches include Storkyrkan in Stockholm and Domkyrkan in Uppsala.
  • Many museums in Sweden offer special Christmas-themed events and exhibits during the Advent season, such as the open-air museum Skansen in Stockholm and the Nordiska Museet, which provides insight into Swedish Christmas traditions.

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