Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill

History and traditions of Gaudete Sunday

Today, Dec. 17, is Gaudete Sunday, when we shift our reflection from “the Lord is coming” to “the Lord is near.” Rejoice as you light the pink candle on your Advent wreath. You are more than half-way to Christmas!

This third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete” Sunday based on the first word of the Latin Entrance Antiphon for this day, meaning “Rejoice”, taken from Philippians 4:4,5: “Gaudete in Domino semper” (“Rejoice in the Lord always”).

Since Advent is a penitential season, the priest normally wears purple vestments, but on Gaudete Sunday, having passed the midpoint of Advent, the Church lightens the mood a little and the priest may wear rose vestments. This is the Church’s way of further heightening our expectation as we draw ever nearer the Solemnity of Christmas.

Providing us with encouragement to continue our spiritual preparation is also the reason that the third candle of the Advent wreath, which is lit on Gaudete Sunday, is traditionally rose-colored.

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Image, Advent wreath by Andrea Schaufler, Adventkranz andrea.JPG, Wikimedia Commons

  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate