ASK FATHER: Pastor says “Gaudete Sunday, is no more”

From today’s live video stream

This greeted me in my email today.

I pray that you are well. I am a permanent Deacon.  I began my homily today … making mention that today we celebrate Gaudete Sunday, or “Rejoice Sunday.” After Mass my pastor approached me and said the homily was fine, but, I had to make a change. I have to say that today is FORMERLY “Gaudete Sunday. He said, in his words, that, Gaudete Sunday, is no more. Now, all the research I do says that this is isn’t so. I will also mention that our Advent vestments are blue. Nothing much I can do about it.

That is true.  As pastor, Fr. Grinch has the right to be as ignorant and as obtuse as he wishes.

It is NOT true that “Gaudete Sunday ‘is no more'”.

First, the very first word of the Mass, the first word of the antiphon that the Church assigns for today’s Mass, is “Gaudete“.  It may be that the pastor is ignorant of this fact because, at that parish on Sundays, hymns or ditties are used instead of the Church’s true prayers.  The 3rd Sunday of Advent is still called Gaudete Sunday.

Some of our days have nicknames, that are not in the Missal.  I wonder.  Does the pastor also have it in for “Good Friday” and “Easter Sunday”?  How about “Christmas”?  Does he insist on calling it “Nativity of Our Lord”?

Next, Francis, not exactly a liturgical conservative, thinks that Gaudete Sunday is okay.  Last year he referred to it during his Sunday Angelus address.   HERE  Then again, even that term “Angelus”, being Latin, might not be known to the pastor.   Let’s just say that each Sunday Francis shows up at a high window over St. Peter Square, and he talks for a few minutes before saying prayers that people used to say all the time.

Also, our liturgical Ordo (ooops, another Latin word) says that during Advent we are not to have flowers on our altars or to use instrumental music except on this 3rd Sunday.  Why?  Because it is it is “Rejoice” Sunday, and, in parallel with the still existing Laetare Sunday in Lent, that’s what we Catholics do.

In addition, our Ordo also indicates that rose vestments can be used on this Sunday, as well as Laetare.  I wonder why.  By the way, Francis thinks Laetare still exists too.  HERE

As far as blue vestments are concerned, there is a possibility of using this color in some places for Marian feasts, but there is no possibility – at all – period – during Advent.

Anyway, I have commented at length about blue vestments during Advent in the past.  We even have a tune about it.  Perhaps the pastor could ask the choir to sing this next week.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Greg Hlatky says:

    Oh dear. That this was Gaudete Sunday and its meaning was the subject of Father’s excellent homily this morning. But he’s FSSP, just a reactionary backwoodsman.

  2. Dismas says:

    I remember the days of Blue Advent, but then the 1980’s drrw to a close. To be honest, the last few times that I have seen blue used liturgically was during Marian solemnities.

  3. Ed S says:

    The mass was anounced as Gaudete Sunday. Our pastor was in pink vestments. The third candle lit on the Advent wreath was also pink. There was never any doubt what this Sunday was today.

    Several years ago at a different parish, a young priest assigned as the new pastor commented from the pulpit that he was uncomfortable wearing pink on this Sunday. He tenure was similarly unremarkable.

    It has always been Gaudete Sunday. Ignorance or bias will never change this fact as long as some of us can still recognize error.

  4. Fr Brian says:

    I wore a new rose chasuble. Remarkable quality for £150. I spoke about ‘Gaudete’ and ‘Laetare.’ Many children, and not a few adults, had never seen a rose chasuble. It perfectly matched the rose candle on the wreath and visibly underscored our vocation to joy, which flows from our baptism. Gaudete!

  5. Gab says:

    Naturally, in Australia, it was purle vestments and “Gaudete” was mentioned once without explanation.

    On another note, according to Bishop Barron, there’s no need to convert to the One True Faith. In his interview with Ben Shapiro, Ben asks (in a crude way) that him being Jewish does that mean he won’t be saved? Bp Barron states: “You might be saved if you are following your conscience sincerely”.

    Seriously? It doesn’t matter that Our Lord said “I am THE Way, THE Truth, THE Life”.
    Whatever happened to 846 There is no salvation outside the Church?

  6. rdb says:

    While the pastor is clearly wrong, there is a truth in the reality of Advent as it is experienced by most Catholics in the US. Christmas trees have been up since the end of November, people have attended many Christmas parties already and there is no sense of penance, expectation or solemnity in the Masses they attend. What need is there for a “rejoicing” Sunday when the whole season has been one of rejoicing? That is, until December 26 when we can forget all about this “Christmas” season.

  7. Hidden One says:

    Well, *tomorrow* Gaudete Sunday will be no more…

  8. L. says:

    I am not sure that pastor is wrong when I reflect on my parish’s Mass this morning – “updated” song lyrics with piano accompaniment, constantly-running pointless water feature, “dewfall” Eucharistic Prayer, and so on- not much in the presentation to rejoice about.

  9. rollingrj says:

    “It has always been Gaudete Sunday. Ignorance or bias will never change this fact as long as some of us can still recognize error.”

    I would call it ignoring with malace. When there has been a deliberate non-use of the Propers for the last 50+years, disguised as the use of Option Four in the GIRM, and any attempt to introduce them is met with contempt, disguised as the use of pastoral judgment, it is no wonder why there is a loss of reverence in our worship. The deforming of the Mass continues due to the misinforming of the laity, disguised as proper catechism, despite the information available.

  10. aliceinstpaul says:

    “You might be saved if you are following your conscience sincerely”.Seriously?

    This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

    “Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

  11. richdel says:

    “Rose may be used, where it is the practice, on Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and on Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent).” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 346 f.)

  12. michael de cupertino says:

    Our pastor, in purple vestments, talked about Gaudete Sunday and pointed out it comes from the epistle for today. So halfway there anyway.

  13. Grant M says:

    Gaudete Sunday at our SSPX Mass.

  14. JGavin says:

    “That is true. As pastor, Fr. Grinch has the right to be as ignorant and as obtuse as he wishes.”

    I would respectfully disagree. This attitude and deliberate ignorance of history and tradition if not the current text of the Mass is an outrage and more a sign of larger issues. I suspect Fr Grinch offers confession times every third blue moon for 20 minutes and thirty seconds. I suspect that Fr Grinch’s attitude has led to some great recruiting for the local Assembly of God Church or the Episcopal Church. He may be unknowingly recruiting for the other side. I would not dare to speculate on Fr Grinch’s eternal fate, but Fr Z, your post about the fate of bishops and priests who shirk their duties is for me chilling. I once heard a story of a mural or painting in a monastery refectory which portrayed the Last Judgement with priests, bishops, religious and popes being tossed into Hell. It has always struck me that the imposition of the bishop’s hands and the anointing of a the hands does not lighten the burdens but increases them. There the greater need for constant study and prayer remains even more so than the average lay person. The same for the consecrated life. These people all need greater support with prayer. Likewise taking potshots at Fr Grinch because of his clear liberal and ill advised tendencies may not be appropriate on my part. A local priest here of blessed memory had a taste ,if you will, for more liberal liturgical practice. that I did not care for or agree, but his sermons were spot on. He was afflicted with a chronic progressive illness which slowly robbed him of strength. However, he slogged through, as a pastor, until another fatal illness intervened. He persevered in his vocation when many others would have retired. The illness which caused demise came seemingly suddenly. He in essence “died with his boots on”. In these days with seemingly endless bad news with regards to pervert priests, lazy and stupid priests, nasty priests, the memory of this priest makes me smile and be sad at the same time. I went to confession with him once or twice. All I can say is Eternal rest grant unto him , O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him!

  15. Legisperitus says:

    L.: You have a pointless water feature during Advent? My sincere sympathies. I had thought those wretched things were mercifully confined to Paschaltide. Hope it isn’t “miked up,” at least.

  16. Simon_GNR says:

    I’m glad to say that our parish priest told us that this was Gaudete Sunday, that being the opening word of the entrance antiphon (introit) in Latin, and he explained briefly why we have the rose vestments to signify a lightening of the penitential atmosphere of Advent as we reach the half-way point of the season, just as we have Laetare Sunday during Lent.

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