By CHRISTINA I. HERMOSO
“Rejoice in the Lord always” (Gaudete in Domino semper) goes the entrance antiphon in today’s masses to highlight the nearness of Christmas, now only 10 days away.
Also known as Gaudete Sunday, members of the clergy traditionally wear rose-colored vestments, instead of purple, on the Third Sunday of Advent.
Church rites across the country will include the lighting of the sole pink candle, the candle of joy, in the Advent wreath, to emphasize the shift in focus from the penitential mood of the first two Sundays of Advent to the joyous expectation of Christ’s birth.
The two purple candles, which symbolize penance and hope respectively, will also be lit.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos urged the faithful “to show our gratitude to God by sharing His teachings with others and to affirm His goodness by sharing with others what the Lord has done for us.”
The Church said, “Gaudete Sunday signifies the nearness of the Lord’s second coming. The observance reminds the faithful to meet the coming Savior with prayers, supplication, and thanksgiving.”