Hapit na gyud. Duol na. Gamay’ng utong na lang.
This coming Sunday, December 17, 2017, is the Third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday, during which the Church rejoices because of the nearness of the Lord Jesus’ arrival. Rejoice with us as we sing the Extraordinary Form Mass of Gaudete Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Adoration Chapel of the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish (Capitol Parish) Church along N. Escario Street, Cebu City.
Cebu Archdiocesan Media Liaison Msgr. Joseph Tan will be offering and chanting the Holy Sacrifice. He will be assisted in music by the Schola Gregoriana of Cebu.
The Society invites you to participate in the recitation of the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It will be recited in Latin at 3:15 p.m. Right after the Rosary, we will chant the Office of None (Mid-Afternoon Prayer) of the Ordinary Form Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours).
Although Advent bears a penitential character that nearly parallels that of Lent, the season’s more dominant theme is not one of sorrow but that of joyful expectation for the Lord’s coming. The penitential character of the season is manifested in the use of violet or purple as liturgical color, the suppression of the playing of the organ, the prohibition on the use of flowers, and absence of the Greater Doxology (Gloria in Excelsis Deo) at Mass.
However, this coming Sunday, which is Gaudete Sunday — as on Lætare Sunday in Lent (Fourth Sunday in Lent) — the Church softens the penitential spirit a little bit in order to highlight the nearness of the great feast of Christmas and to arouse our fervor and anticipation for the Lord’s glorious coming at the end of time. Thus, rose is allowed as liturgical color, the organ may be played, and flowers may be used to decorate the sanctuary, but the Gloria in Excelsis Deo is still suppressed (you will only hear it again at the Mass of Christmas).
This midway break in a penitential season is also emphasized in the texts and prayers of the Liturgy, both in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms. The change in the season’s mood is marked by a theme of subdued joy. The term “Gaudete Sunday” itself comes from the opening words of the Introitus (Entrance Antiphon) at Mass. “Gaudete” means “rejoice.”
The Lectio (Lesson or Reading) in the Extraordinary Form (Philippians 4:4-7) and the Lectio Secunda (Second Lesson or Second Reading) in the Ordinary Form (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24) also exhort us to rejoice.
In the Divine Office of both Forms, the change in mood can also be seen in the Invitatory Antiphon at Matins (Office of Readings). Prior to Gaudete Sunday, the Invitatory Antiphon is “Regem venturum Dóminum, veníte, adorémus” (Come, let us worship the Lord, the King who is to come). But, from Gaudete Sunday up to December 23, the Invitatory Antiphon becomes “Prope est jam Dóminus, veníte, adorémus” (The Lord is close at hand; come, let us worship him).
So, come and rejoice with us on Gaudete Sunday. Bring your family. Invite your friends. And, remember to go to Confession prior to Mass so you can worthily receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus, the King whose coming is close at hand.
See you on Sunday.