The third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday. It marks the halfway point of Advent.
Gaudete is the Latin word for rejoice.
The priest may wear a rose-colored or pink vestment instead of purple, as is worn the other three Sundays of Advent. Also, the pink candle is lit on the Advent wreath. Even the readings reflect a spirit of joy, compared to the previous two weeks.
At this point in Advent, our hearts are filled with joy as we reflect on the approaching birth of Christ. The responsorial psalm, “My soul rejoices in my God,” reflects that joy. And the first reading from Isaiah tells us: “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels.”
We continue to feel joy this week as we look forward to the coming of Jesus. The spirit of the liturgy throughout Advent is one of expectation and preparation for Christmas and for the second coming of Christ.
In his 2014 Gaudete Sunday homily, Pope Francis said that Gaudete Sunday is known as the “Sunday of joy,” and that instead of fretting about “all they still haven’t” done to prepare for Christmas, people should “think of all the good things life has given you.”