A warm welcome to the Diocese of East Anglia. I hope that you will find our website interesting and informative.
Our Diocesan mission is to respond to Christ’s call to proclaim the gospel. I pray that your contact with us, through this website and, if you are in East Anglia, through meeting us, will encourage you to enter more deeply into the encounter with God in Jesus Christ who is the source of our life and joy.
Certain Sundays throughout the liturgical year have taken their names from the first word in Latin of the Introit, the entrance antiphon at Mass. Gaudete Sunday is one of these. Gaudete Sunday is the Third Sunday of Advent. The Introit for Gaudete Sunday, in both the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo, is taken from Philippians 4:4,5: “Gaudete in Domino semper” (“Rejoice in the Lord always”).
Like Lent, Advent is a penitential season, so the priest normally wears purple vestments. But on Gaudete Sunday, having passed the midpoint of Advent, the Church lightens the mood a little, and the priest may wear rose vestments. The change in color provides us with encouragement to continue our spiritual preparation—especially prayer and fasting—for Christmas.
For this same reason, the third candle of the Advent wreath, first lit on Gaudete Sunday, is traditionally rose-colored.
The word Christmas derives from the combination of Christ and Mass; it is the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Second in the liturgical calendar only to Easter, Christmas is celebrated by many as if it were the most important of Christian feasts.