November 26, 2020

Advent III: Gaudete!

By Chaplain Mike

As we light the third Advent candle, we thank God for his gift of joy.

This is Gaudete (Rejoicing) Sunday. In the midst of Advent’s long journey, our worship on this day calls us to lift up our eyes, focus anew on our destination, and find renewed strength and refreshment from realizing that“our redemption draws near.” To mark this day, the liturgical colors are changed from deep purple or blue to rose-pink. That is why the third candle is different than the others on the Advent Wreath.

Today’s text from Isaiah graphically pictures the joy of the new creation and how this message of hope can bring rejoicing to our hearts even now:

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
the splendor of our God.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”

Joy is best expressed through singing! Here is the group Libera, singing the 16th century Latin carol, “Gaudete.” The repeated refrain proclaims: “Rejoice! Rejoice! Christ is born of the Virgin Mary! Rejoice!” The verses proclaim that the time of grace has come, God has become man, the world has been renewed, the light has been born, and salvation has been found because of Christ’s coming. Gaudete!


  1. One of my favourite Carols!

  2. So beautiful …

  3. One of my all time favourites. I grew up with the Steeleye Span version.