Gaudete Sunday

The third Sunday of Advent in the traditional calendar of the church year. The term is derived from the Latin opening words of the introit antiphon, “Rejoice (Gaudete) in the Lord always.” The theme of the day expresses the joy of anticipation at the approach of the Christmas celebration. This theme reflects a lightening of the tone of the traditional Advent observance. It is appropriate for the celebrant of the Mass to wear rose-colored vestments on this day instead of the deeper violet vestments that are typically used in Advent. This Sunday is also known as “Rose Sunday.” This custom is reflected by the practice of including a pink or rose-colored candle among the four candles of an Advent wreath.


A gesture of reverence in worship. It involves touching the right knee briefly to the floor while holding the upper body upright, and then returning to a standing position. It is a customary gesture of reverence for Christ’s real presence in the consecrated Eucharistic elements of bread and wine. Genuflections may be seen as people enter or leave a church, or the seating area of a church, or the vicinity of a tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. The celebrant and assisting ministers may genuflect at the end of the Eucharistic prayer or after the words of institution concerning each element in the Eucharistic prayer. Genuflection has also been associated with veneration of the cross at the Good Friday liturgy and with the affirming of the Incarnation in the Nicene Creed. The profound bow is sometimes substituted for the genuflection.  The genuflection is not required, but is simply an personal act of piety and part of the custom of a parish.