Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee: Rejoicing In The Lord During The Third Week Of Advent

by Advent

Royalty, penance, and sacrifice– purple is the liturgical color used during the Season of Advent. Purple represents a time of preparation before the important celebration of Christmas. But why is there also a pink candle on the Advent Wreath?

One of only two “pink” Sundays of the entire Liturgical Year, sometimes we are surprised to walk into Mass during the Third Week of Advent and see the priest wearing rose vestments. Pink, or rose, is a color of joy. Symbolically, it is seen as a combination of the violet of Advent and the white of Christmas– a rosy hue that blends our waiting with our celebration. By the Third Sunday of Advent we are over halfway through the season and drawing closer to the celebration of Christmas. We rejoice on Gaudete Sunday because the coming of the Lord is near!

Gaudete is from Latin and means “to rejoice.” It is the first word of the entrance antiphon for Mass on Gaudete Sunday, and the readings that day are all about joy. The First Reading this year is from Isaiah who tells us to: “rejoice heartily in the LORD.” The Responsorial Psalm is Mary’s Magnificat where we hear: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” In the Second Reading, St. Paul exhorts us to: “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.” Instructed to find our joy in the Lord, we go forward during the third week of the Season encouraged to continue our Advent journey with our eyes firmly set on the miracle of the Incarnation.

The Third Week Of Advent Theme: Joy

Every Advent Season is characterized by calling to mind how Jesus comes into our lives. We remember His coming into the world that first Christmas and anticipate celebrating Christmas this year. Advent helps us to look to the future when Christ will come again at the end of time to create a New Heaven and a New Earth. But we also call to mind how Jesus comes into our lives every single day. Through the Sacred Scriptures, in quiet moments of prayer, and most especially in the Blessed Sacrament.

While the theme of this Third Week of Advent is joy, our waiting isn’t quite over. For example, we don’t sing the Gloria at Mass during Advent. The Gloria is a prayer of great rejoicing, so we will sing it again at the Christmas liturgy when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Then we exalt with all the angels and saints that Jesus has come! Jesus came into the world as a baby in Bethlehem, but he also comes to us each Mass in the Holy Eucharist. We are filled with joy that our Lord shares the gift of his Body and Blood with us at each Mass!

This precious gift of the Eucharist should be at the center of our celebration this Christmas. May we use the remaining days of Advent to open wide our hearts to be ready to welcome the Lord of lords and King of kings this particular Christmas, but also in every Mass all throughout the year.

Practical Ideas For Celebrating The Third Week Of Advent:

  • Wear pink to Mass or throughout the week as you are able.
  • Add a pink decoration, like flowers or children’s artwork, to your kitchen table or prayer space as a reminder of the joy of this week. 
  • This week is a perfect time to pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, which tell the stories of Jesus’s birth. The Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation in the Temple, and Finding in the Temple are all moments from Jesus’s life that were filled with joy.
  • Rejoice in the gift of the Eucharist. Stay after Mass for a few minutes to make a meaningful act of thanksgiving, 
  • Listen to hymns that remind you of joy and adoring the Lord, like Joy to the World, Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, and O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Since the fourth century, Latin has been used as the language of prayer for the Catholic Church. United together, believers from around the world worship with one voice in the same language. While it is now more common for the prayers at Mass to be said in the local language, we still share beautiful Latin prayers, hymns, and liturgical terms, like Gaudete. Using Latin helps remind us that our Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and that our faith is for all people of all times. This week you could try learning a favorite prayer or hymn in Latin!
  • Plan some time for Eucharistic Adoration. Stop in at a local Adoration chapel or church during the day for quiet prayer with our Eucharistic Lord.

Continue Learning About Advent Traditions

All about Advent & Christmas: Sharing the Seasons of Hope & Wonder with Children is a resource unlike any other. Explore the rich traditions surrounding Christ’s birth as you journey through Scripture to understand the story of salvation and discover the meaning behind many of our celebrations during Advent and Christmas. Check out these great pages:

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