Sunday, March 02, 2008

Laetare Sunday.

This is Laetare Sunday, one of the two Sundays of the Liturgical year in which rose-colored vestments are authorized. The other is Gaudete Sunday in Advent (hence the rose-colored candle in the Advent wreath).

These traditions hearken back to pre-literate times when instruction was given through stained glass windows, vestments and the like of the liturgical year. Both Advent and Lent are times of fasting, with Lent focusing on Jesus fasting in the wilderness. During these times of fasting the vestments and altar cloths are purple (or blue) to reflect the sober times. The "pink" vestments remind us that even in these times of fasting, God gives us grace. Even as He sent angels to His Son during His time in the wilderness, Laetare Sunday reminds us that in tough times He is always there with grace and mercy.

I love these traditions and I believe they speak to a need in all of us for something more than the written word, the spoken word. We see it in the pink and yellow ribbons being worn by so many, the message bracelets and so on.

This is a Sunday to remember there is Joy in the journey. Laetare is latin for rejoice (the opening words of the introit were "laetare Jerusalem" or "rejoice Jerusalem). So this is a day to celebrate and rejoice!