Quote of the Day : Gaudete & Serious Celebration

Rejoice, rejoice, Christ was born
From the Virgin Mary, rejoice.
Rejoice, rejoice, Christ was born
From the Virgin Mary, rejoice.
Time to get back to what we wanted
Let us devoutly return the songs of joy.
Rejoice, rejoice, Christ was born
From the Virgin Mary, rejoice.
Rejoice, rejoice, Christ was born
From the Virgin Mary, rejoice.

Gaudete

Origins of the Quote

Gaudete is a sacred Christmas carol and thought to have been composed in the 16th century. It was published in Piae Cantiones. It is a collection of late medieval Latin songs published back in 1582. There was no musical arrangement for the verses. However, it is considered that the standard tune comes from older liturgical books.

The Latin text is a classic medieval song of praise, which follows the standard pattern for the time. A similar series of four-line stanzas, each preceded by a two-line refrain (in the early English carol this was known as the burden!). Carols could be on any subject, although typically they were about the Virgin Mary, the Saints or Yuletide themes.

The History Behind the Words

Certain Sundays throughout the liturgical year have taken their names from the first word in Latin of the Introit, the entrance antiphon at mass. ‘Gaudete Sunday’ is one of these days.

It is a joyous celebration. Although it takes place during the usually penitential period of Advent, Gaudete Sunday serves as a mid-point break from the austere practices to rejoice in the nearness of Jesus’s return in triple ways.

Gaudete Sunday is also the third Sunday of Advent. The date usually falls between December 11 to 17 each year.

The Introit for Gaudete Sunday, in both the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo, is taken from Philippians 4:4,5: Gaudete in Domino semper, or “rejoice in the Lord always.”

Some Final Thoughts

Much like Lent, Advent is a penitential season, so the priest normally wears purple vestments. But on Gaudete Sunday, having passed the midpoint of Advent, the Church lightens the atmosphere a little, and the priest may don rose robes. The change in color provides worshippers with encouragement to continue their spiritual work. This includes prayer and fasting for Christmas.

For this reason of lightening the mood, the third candle of the Advent wreath, which is first lit on Gaudete Sunday, is traditionally rose-colored.

It is often compared to Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent. Like Gaudete Sunday, Laetare Sunday has a more light-hearted, celebratory mood compared to the usually strict mood of Lent.


Check out our Quote of the Day archive where we bring you quotes hand picked by me, Divvya Nirula. Sharing the stories, people, moments behind the inspiration and thought provoking words.