'Be joyful, all who were in mourning!'

'Be joyful, all who were in mourning!'

By Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan/ bigccatholics.com

The Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday in the Extraordinary Form, since its theme is one of rejoicing and expectation that Easter is near. It occurs just over half way through the penitential season of Lent. Laetare Sunday, takes its name from the first word in the entrance antiphon (introit) for that Sunday’s Mass, "Rejoice" [Latin: laetare]: "Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her; rejoice with joy you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation" (Isaiah: 66:10, 11).

In anticipation of the joy of Easter, Laetare Sunday is meant to provide hope and encouragement as we progress towards the Paschal Feast. The great Solemnity of Easter for which we have been faithfully preparing prefigures our joy in Heaven, when we shall see God face to face. [Laetare Sunday is also the occasion of the second scrutiny in preparation for the baptism of adults at the Easter Vigil.]

This day is often referred to as "Rose Sunday". The priest celebrant may wear rose vestments. It has a counterpart in Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, when purple vestments are exchanged for rose ones. Both Sunday's furnish us with encouragement as we progress toward the conclusion of each respective penitential season. Liturgically, flowers [roses] may adorn the altar, and the organ may be played more fully, breaking the somber austerity of Lent.

The Gospel reading in the Extraordinary Form for Laetare Sunday is from John: "After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him... One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Peter, said to him, 'There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?' Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted." (John 6:1-15)

Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. (From the Psalm) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. Glory be to the Father. Grant, we humbly beseech You, almighty God, that we who justly suffer for our deeds may be relieved by the consolation of Your grace. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 12:45
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