Sunday, 14 December 2008
Gaudete, the third Sunday of Advent
Gaudete in Domino semper; iterum dico, gaudete. The introit for the third Sunday of Advent's Mass 'Rejoice in the LORD always; again I say rejoice', and also its Epistle, is from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians (4:4). The illustration from Jerome Nadal depicts today's Gospel where the Jews sent priests and Levites to interrogate St. John the Baptist.
The Sunday, mirroring Laetare Sunday in Lent, lightens the penitential violet and so rose vestments may be worn for Vespers and the day. The deacon and sub-deacon instead of wearing folded chasubles - one of the most ancient and typically Roman characteristis of the whole liturgy - wear dalmatic and tunicle today of rose colour. (Where rose vestments are not available violet dalmatic and tunicle are worn in their place.)
The Sunday is of semi-double rank of the second class. Mattins, as usual for most Sundays, has nine lessons and is divided into three nocturns. The invitatory is proper from today until the Vigil of the Nativity, Prope est jam Dominus: Venite adoremus. At Lauds a commemoration of the Octave of the BVM is made. At Mass the Octave is commemorated, the Creed is sung and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino.
At Vespers, which has proper antiphons, a commemoration of the following Octave Day is made. After tomorrow's Octave Day the liturgy takes a more serious and penitential note.