December 13: Gaudete Sunday

Published December 13, 2015 by Unprodigal Daughter


Today we light the rose (pink) candle for Gaudete Sunday. “Gaudete” is a Latin word meaning “rejoice.” This third week of Advent is associated with rejoicing in God, and being joyful. Advent is not only a season of being hopeful, but it is also a season of being joyful of what is to come. We wait four weeks before we celebrate Christmas, but our big brothers of the faith, the Jews, show us what was really like to gleefully wait for Christ. Our joy this season, and all seasons, should mirror theirs.

Each week, when we light another candle, it represents another thousand years that the Israelites would have had to wait for a messiah–that’s a total of four thousand years of waiting. In spite of the generations of darkness that the Ancient Jews experienced, they were still joyful when they remembered that a savior would come deliver them some day. Again and again, the Old Testament Scriptures exclaimed, “shout for joy!” or “rejoice and be glad!” Anticipation and joy were wrapped up together, even when things were difficult. When their faith was truly tested, they exalted nonetheless. 

As we enter the third week of Advent, let us imagine what it would have been like to be happily waiting for so long. When we read about joy in the first and second reading today, let us remember that above all, Christ’s birth is a celebration–sing joyfully!

Opening Prayer

Ever-living God,
help us to celebrate our joy
in the birth of the Lord
and to express in our lives
the love we celebrate.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN

(taken from

Daily Readings

Reading 1: ZEP 3:14-18A

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you
he has turned away your enemies;
the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
he will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

Responsorial Psalm: IS 12:2-3, 4, 5-6

R. (6) Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Reading: 2 PHIL 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.


Gospel: LK 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist,
“What should we do?”
He said to them in reply,
“Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
“Teacher, what should we do?”
He answered them,
“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
Soldiers also asked him,
“And what is it that we should do?”
He told them,
“Do not practice extortion,
do not falsely accuse anyone,
and be satisfied with your wages.”

Now the people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Exhorting them in many other ways,
he preached good news to the people.



Here is a clip that reminds us to pause–let us slow down and remember the joy of the Incarnation.

Additional Activities

For something not necessarily Advent related, but still fun, try taking one of these quizzes and test your knowledge of the Catholic faith!

If you are more interested in learning about Advent itself, here is a little-known fact list about the liturgical season.

Closing Prayer

Today is the feast day of St. Lucy. Here is a novena prayer dedicated to her:

Whose beautiful name
Signifies light, By the light of Faith
Which God bestowed upon you,
Increase and preserve
His light in our souls,
So that we may avoid evil,
Be zealous in the performance
Of good works,
And abhor nothing
So much as the blindness
And the darkness
Of evil and sin.

Obtain for us,
By your intercession
With God,
Perfect vision
For our bodily eyes
And the grace to use them
For God’s greater honor
And glory
And the salvation of souls.

St. Lucy,
Virgin and martyr,
Hear our prayers
And obtain our petitions.


(taken from

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