Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men: for the Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer let your requests be made known unto God. (Ps.) Lord, thou art become gracious unto thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. Gloria Patri.

Incline thine ear to our prayers, we beseech thee, O Lord: and by the grace of thy visitation enlighten the darkness of our minds: Who livest and reignest with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

When it seems as though things are getting a little too serious, we're liable to hear someone tell us to "lighten up." That's a bit of what happens on Gaudete Sunday. Its title is taken from the first word of the Introit, "Rejoice," and it’s a day when the Church "lightens up" just a little from the somber nature of Advent. The vestments may be rose-colored rather than purple, and the rose candle in the wreath is lit — all as a reminder to us that the Lord who is our Judge is also our Redeemer. We have a reason to rejoice: the God who separates the sheep from the goats has called us to be His lambs, members of His flock, and in that is our hope.

Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

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