Happy Gaudete Sunday!
“Huh?” many of you are thinking. Ok, I’ll explain. Both Lent and (surprise) Advent are penitential seasons, so the color for the liturgical vestments in the Catholic Church is purple. Since Easter is the most important celebration in the church year, the preparation period (Lent) is longer, forty days (which also has a Biblical connection to the forty years the Israelites spent in the wilderness). Christmas is the second most important celebration, so we get four weeks (actual length varies, based on what day of the week Christ Mass falls on).
These being major celebrations of events concerning our salvation, the Church asks us to examine our lives better than usual, try to improve, find more time for prayer, etc. A little over half-way through the seasons of self-searching and attempts to conform our lives more closely to Jesus, we get a break. In Lent, it’s Latare (Be joyful) Sunday, the fourth Sunday of six. In Advent, it’s Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday, the third Sunday of four. Both names come from the readings for that Sunday, which are all about our joy in Christ.
And the priest has to wear pink. See here for the hysterical and totally typical reaction of most priests to having to wear *ahem* dusky rose… or salmon… or something, just don’t call it pink. (If you do an Advent wreath, this is the week for the pink candle.)
So, for Christmas carol #3 I was going to offer you The Priests singing “Gaudete, Christus est Natus” (Rejoice, Christ is Born). The Priests are a new group of (surprise!) priests from Ireland (two brothers and a friend). They were on EWTN’s news show, The World Over, last Friday night, and they’re supposed to be on the TWO Christmas special this coming Friday. Unfortunately, “Gaudete” is not actually on their new (and first) CD. They did a really lovely job of it live on the news show, but nobody seems to have posted the clip anywhere. So, you’ll just have to catch the Christmas special next Friday at 8 pm (EST) on EWTN, and see if they do that one again.
In the meantime, here’s another version.
Gaudete, Christus est Natus
Gaudete! gaudete! (Rejoice! Rejoice!)
Christus est natus ex Maria virgine, (Christ is born of the Virgin Mary)
1. Tempus adest gratiae, hoe quod optabamus;
carmina laetitiae devote reddamus. Refrain
1. At this time of grace and longed-for blessing,
love faithfully offers a song of praise.
2. Deus homo factus est, natura mirante;
mundus renovatus est a Christo regnante. Refrain
2. God is made human in this wonderful birth:
the world is cleansed through the rule of Christ.
3. Ezecaelis orta clausa per transistur;
unde lux est orta, salus invenitur. Refrain
3. The gate of heaven now opens which to us was closed,
sending forth transforming light through which holiness is found.
4. Ergo nostra contio psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino; salus regi nostro. Refrain
4. Therefore we meet in pure songs of joy:
we bless the Lord, King of our salvation.