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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Are We There Yet?

Photo: Russell Dornan, Click for license
Advent, done well... done intentionally, can get a little heavy, if we aren't careful, can’t it? 

There’s John with the itchy camel hair, handing out warnings, ...and all those empty mangers around.

And all that repentance purple.

That’s what it’s about you know... The purple.  Yes, there’s the royalty thing, but, have you noticed that Advent is, essentially, the same color as Lent?

Of course, Advent is not a full blown penetential season like Lent.  It is more about watching, waiting, preparation, and anticipation.  But, historically, it does have a touch of a penetential character about it.  After all, if we are getting ready for the arrival of our King (in the manger AND again in glory), then we have a little spiritual housecleaning to do.

The Eastern Orthodox have been fasting…no red meat, poultry, meat products, eggs, dairy products, fish, oil, or wine, (except for some  minor changes and Feastdays here and there), for 25 days now,... to be exact.
Photo: NCFC0721 (No real name given); click for license
It's called the Nativity Fast, or, Philip's Fast.  And you thought you had it bad.  No wonder they love St. Nicholas and his feastday so much.  They need a little FISH, man.

But truly,couldn't we all use a little levity…a little respite, a little….pink? 
Rose, to be precise.

I give you... Gaudete Sunday.

Well, actually, I didn’t give it to you; Rome did.  And then, the rest of us liturgical type Protestants followed suit with a good idea.  We tend to do that.

The day takes its name from the Latin for the first word of the introit for this day in the Roman Catholic mass: Gaudete (Rejoice)!  Notice the rose colored vestments.  On Gaudete Sunday, real men wear pink.  (For a look at a selection of some lovely rose colored vestments, look here and here.)

The Gaudete Sunday Introit comes from Philippians 4:4-6:

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  
I will say it again; Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be known to all.  
The Lord is near. 
 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Take a listen to the Gaudete Sunday introit, in Latin, if you are so inclined:


This Sunday celebrates the coming of our Lord with Joyous anticipation!  The church, in effect, lightens the mood a little.
So light that pink candle on the Advent wreath, serve the kids some ice cream, and…REJOICE!

Now, isn't that a relief?

Photo:"redroofmontreal"(no real name given), click for license.

God Bless you in your Advent preparations.
He's almost here!

Linked with:

Meeting God in the Church Year:


  1. Thank you for sharing this interesting part of this week's Advent.

  2. Always learning something new during the Virtual Advent Tour! As a Catholic, you'd think I'd know about the rose vestments during advent, but I didn't until today. Thanks for the links to the photos of so many gorgeous vestments - I absolutely can't get enough of such beautiful fabrics. The colors and the patterns - such works of art in textile form.

    Merry Christmas, Michelle!

  3. Thank you for this post. I love learning about different traditions and practices during the holiday season. SO many beautiful ones!
    Advent Tour Day 11

  4. Very interesting about the Advent Fast; I hadn't heard of that before! Thanks for sharing! I hope you and yours have a Very Merry Christmas!


  5. I didn't know this! Thanks so much for sharing it as part of the Advent tour.

  6. Thank you so much for this post. This is a very interesting post. I have learned so much.

    God bless you!

  7. Indeed, He is almost come. In the East we begin to sing this week "Today the Virgin comes to the cave to give birth to the Pre-Eternal One...." Soon...very soon.

    But, I had to say your comment about Protestants getting Gaudette via Rome made me giggle. My wonderful brother-in-law,who is a Lutheran pastor, once told me, "When Rome sneezes, Protestants catch a cold."


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