Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The third Sunday of Advent has often been celebrated as Gaudete Sunday through much of the Western Churches major denominations. This includes Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. Gaudete, which is Latin, means to “Rejoice.”The third Sunday of Advent gives us a chance to rejoice in God in the midst of the rest of the Advent season which is a little more penitential.
Many churches have a pink candle in their Advent Wreath for this day. To set this day apart to rejoice in the Christmas to come brings us into an expectation of the light coming into the world. While we still have more than a week before Christmas arrives, it is nice to take a moment to rejoice and not worry.
Let us pray.
Joyous God, we give thanks for the times of joy in our lives. We ask for your presence to direct and guide us throughout the rest of this Advent season. AMEN.