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Gaudete Sunday: Preparing the joy of Christmas with St. John

  “Rejoice in the Lord always!” So rings forth the Introit for this Gaudete Sunday, marking the half way point of Advent. Today, the joyful return of certain outward aspects of the Church’s liturgy provide this brief respite in the preparation for the coming of Christ in two weeks time. So it is, that even in the relatively short period of Advent, a rest is provided by the Church – a rest which calls those waiting the coming of Christ to meditate upon the glory of God as cause for rejoicing. As Dom Gueranger writes: “To-day, again, the Church is full of joy, and the joy is greater than it was. It is true that her Lord has not come; but she feels that He is nearer than before, and therefore she thinks it just to lessen some what the austerity of this penitential season by the innocent cheerfulness of her sacred rites.” While the previous two Sundays have been marked by a certain austerity of tone, with the removal of flowers and organ and the wearing of purple, Gaudete is marked by thei

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