Those who frequent these pages know I’ve been on quite a mission lately to bring the liturgical calendar to life within our home. We do this by changing up the prayers to match the Mass readings, displaying an image of the saint of the day, highlighting the liturgical colors, and maybe even preparing a food dish to celebrate a timely feast. All that may sound over-the-top Catholic Martha Stewart-ish to some, but here’s why we do it.
As my friend Dr. Tom Neal encourages, “Stay close to the logic of the liturgical cycle since theology is first and best done in the furnace of the divine liturgy.” That’s a really smart way of saying: Keep your domestic church, your home, in step with Holy Mother Church. She knows her stuff! The liturgical calendar is so very rich in tradition, it really can help bring purpose and order to your home.
Today Holy Mother Church celebrates the Third Sunday in Advent, also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for rejoice and comes from Philippians 4:4-5, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” This is the Introit, the entrance antiphon, for today’s Mass and also the first line of the second reading.
Gaudete Sunday marks the halfway point in Advent, and we change things up a bit to provide encouragement to continue our Advent practices. We light the lone pink candle in our Advent wreaths, the Mass readings challenge us to cry out and sing joyfully as we continue waiting, and many priests wear rose-colored vestments.
Did you spy any pink, I mean rose, at Mass? When Joel and I lived in Ames, IA, we were parishioners at St. Cecilia Catholic Church. A fellow parishioner, a lovely well-dressed woman, frequently matched her attire to the liturgical color of the day. Her purposeful approach struck me then, and I appreciate it even more today. So today Lucy and I were moved to break out our rose-colored Sunday best. What a great way to open the door for catechesis with her.
And get this. We told Lucy if she was good in Mass we would go to a very special place called Dunkin’ Donuts to celebrate Gaudete Sunday (donut bribery is not beneath us). And wouldn’t you know it? DD is in on the action as well! Take a look at their special Gaudete Sunday coffee cups! Between wearing pink and drinking my carmel-flavored DD coffee, I am in a rather joyful mood!
Rejoice! The Lord is near!
This post is linked up to What I Wore Sunday. I’m heading over there now to see who else wore their rose-colored Sunday best!