Laetare Sunday

Laetare Sunday By Stefani Bedin This Sunday is often called Laetare Sunday, a name which refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon for the Fourth Sunday of Lent: “Laetare, Jerusalem” (“Rejoice, O Jerusalem”). The Church is encouraging us to rejoice! We are approximately halfway through our Lenten journey, and we are invited to look forward, with joyful anticipation, to Easter, which is just three weeks away. Today, we momentarily break from some of the austerities of the penitential season. This spirit of rejoicing is reflected in our liturgies, which differ somewhat from the other Sundays of Lent. The pipe organ, which since the beginning of Lent has been used at Sunday liturgies solely to support singing, today also offers solo music—preludes and postludes. Flowers are permitted in the sanctuary. You may have also noticed the priest wearing rose-coloured vestments. These vestments are only worn on one other day of the liturgical year, the Third Sunday of Advent, or Gaudete Sunday, another time when we are specially invited to be joyful. The readings also remind us there are many reasons to rejoice. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, we hear that the father celebrates over the return of his lost son. During Lent, when we are especially reminded to repent and seek forgiveness, we find joy in knowing that our God is loving and merciful. May this Sunday bring us refreshment and strengthen our faith and hope as we continue to journey toward Holy Week and Easter.

Sunday’s Readings:

Joshua 5.9a, 10-12

Psalm 34

2 Corinthians 5.17-21

Luke 15.1-3, 11-32