Skip to comments.Laetare Sunday
Posted on 03/05/2005 5:07:27 PM PST by Salvation
The fourth, or middle, Sunday of Lent, so called from the first words of the Introit at Mass, "Laetare Jerusalem" -- "Rejoice, O Jerusalem". During the first six or seven centuries the season of Lent commenced on the Sunday following Quinquagesima, and thus comprised only thirty-six fasting days. To these were afterwards added the four days preceding the first Sunday, in order to make up the forty days' fast, and one of the earliest liturgical notices of these extra days occurs in the special Gospels assigned to them in a Toulon manuscript of 714. Strictly speaking, the Thursday before Laetare Sunday is the middle day of Lent, and it was at one time observed as such, but afterwards the special signs of joy permitted on this day, intended to encourage the faithful in their course through the season of penance, were transferred to the Sunday following. They consist of (like those of Gaudete Sunday in Advent) in the use of flowers on the altar, and of the organ at Mass and Vespers; rose-coloured vestments also allowed instead of purple, and the deacon and subdeacon wear dalmatics, instead of folded chasubles as on the other Sundays of Lent. The contrast between Laetare and the other Sundays is thus emphasized, and is emblematical of the joys of this life, restrained rejoicing mingled with a certain amount of sadness. The station at Rome was on this day made at the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, one of the seven chief basilicas; the Golden Rose, sent by the popes to Catholic sovereigns, used to be blessed at this time, and for this reason the day was sometimes called "Dominica de Rosa". Other names applied to it were Refreshment Sunday, or the Sunday of the Five Loaves, from a miracle recorded in the Gospel; Mid-Lent, mi-carême, or mediana; and Mothering Sunday, in allusion to the Epistle, which indicates our right to be called the sons of God as the source of all our joy, and also because formerly the faithful used to make their offerings in the cathedral or mother-church on this day. This latter name is still kept up in some remote parts of England, though the reason for it has ceased to exist.
Oops. That should have been a capital 'L' in Laetare!
You're welcome, of course, but this thread won't go far as long as it's only you and me. :)
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I'm in Ireland. And I'm Catholic.
But I never heard of Laetare Sunday.
This Sunday is Mothering Sunday in Ireland...and our clergy tend to use the day to venerate Our Lady.
Yes, it is traditional. We are bringing in rose colored roses tomorrow. (that sounds a bit odd, doesn't it.) It is a little break in the Lenten season.
The third Sunday of Advent, so called from the first word of the Introit at Mass (Gaudete, i.e. Rejoice). [...]
I never heard of it.
I must be a bad Catholic.
I have heard of Mothering Sunday before. Thanks for your input.
Only two days when the rose colored vestments are worn.
Not a bad Catholic....
The word "Laetare" is Latin -- no wonder many of us have not heard it. Listen to the opening prayer for the words -- "Rejoice, Jerusalem."
**from the first words of the Introit at Mass, "Laetare Jerusalem" -- "Rejoice, O Jerusalem".**
Of course, that's all old church gobbledy-gook. In the new AmChurch, the only differences are that the folk band is permitted to use GMaj chords (for happier songs), and the liturgical dancers wear top hats and tap shoes.
Stop being so silly!
The rose color has long tradition but it is optional now. I see priests using the usual Lenten (and Advent) violet instead.
Hahaha...I want to be part of the AmChurch.
Only problem is..if I wear a top hat and taps, I tend to go into 'Chicago' mode.
I might just want to straddle the ambo and sing 'All that Jazz'.
You might have a place in the Roman Catholic Diocese (so-called) of Erie, PA.
I have to laugh about this. It's either that or cry.
As Christianity spread throughout Europe, mother's day celebrations were held on the fourth Sunday in Lent - Laetare Sunday or mid-Lent Sunday - and they were adapted to honor the Virgin Mary and also the "Mother Church." Custom began to dictate that a person visit the church of his/her baptism on this day and people attended the mother church of their parish, laden with offerings.
And, in fact, a friend of mine is having her son Christened tomorrow/today..and I'll be there.
That's nice to know. I don't think they actually planned the Christening to co-incide with Mothering Sunday..but I'll tell them about this when I attend. :-)
I don't really know what you are talking about.
Sorry, if I offended.
No, you have not offended at all. I just think we're divided by a common language: English.
Sorry if I offended...I didn't mean anything. ;O)
It looks like Mothering Sunday is a lot like the American Mothers' Day!
Here's wishing Lenten blessings to all FReepers.
The fourth Sunday of Lent, celebrated earlier this week, has the
liturgical color or rose. There are two Sundays a year when Rose is
used: the Third Sunday of Advent and the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
Rose is used to show that our time of penance is quickly coming to a
close and that they joyful season of Easter is nearly here. Today is
also considered the midpoint of Lent. Many of the things stressed in
the readings and prayers move from a spirit of penitence to a spirit of
anticipation of the Resurrection and the celebration of the Easter
Mysteries. This is reflected by the opening antiphon of today's Mass,
which begins with the phrase "Rejoice Jerusalem."
And the loaves and fishes parable really resonates with those who've been fasting.
Rejoice, O Jerusalem...
The Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Lætare (Rejoice) Sunday, from the first words of the liturgy [Introit] above. Since it is in the middle of Lent, like Gaudete Sunday midway through Advent, Lætare reminds us of the Event we look forward to at the end of the penitential season. As on Gaudete Sunday, rose-colored vestments may replace violet, symbolizing, the Church's joy in anticipation of the Resurrection.
In England, this Sunday is known as Mothering Sunday, a custom that arose during the Middle Ages, because the Epistle for the day said, "But Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all" [Galatians 4:26]. The Church is "Jerusalem which is above."
On Lætare Sunday people went to Church where they were baptized (their mother church); and visited their own mothers, as well, often bringing gifts of flowers and simnel cakes (so-called because they were made with fine white flour, or simila.) There are many different recipes for this cake, but all are fruit-cakes covered with almond paste. Mothering Sunday reminds us of the American Mother's Day, although the latter is a holiday honoring mothers which was originated in the early twentieth-century, and though similar, it is unrelated to the Lenten tradition of Mothering Sunday.
Even if we don't celebrate this day as Mothering Sunday (or maybe just don't like fruitcake!) it would be appropriate, on the "Rejoice" Sunday, to have a special treat for the Sunday meal in honor of our Mother, the Church.
|The fourth Sunday in Lent (Mid-Lent) derives its Latin name from the first word of the Mass text, "Laetare Jerusalem" (Rejoice, O Jerusalem). It is a day of joy within the mourning season. The altars may be decorated with flowers, organ playing is permitted, and the priests may wear rose-colored vestments instead of purple. The reason for such display of joy is explained in a sermon by Pope Innocent III (1216):
"On this Sunday, which marks the middle of Lent, a measure of consoling relaxation is provided, so that the faithful may not break down under the severe strain of Lenten fast but may continue to bear the restrictions with a refreshed and easier heart."
As a symbol of this joy the popes used to carry a golden rose in their right hand when returning from the celebration of Mass. Pope Leo IX (1051) calls this custom an "ancient institution." Originally it was a single rose of natural size, but since the fifteenth century it has consisted of a cluster or branch of roses wrought of pure gold and set with precious stones in brilliant workmanship by famous artists. The popes bless it every year, and
often they confer it upon churches, shrines, cities, or distinguished persons as a token of esteem and paternal affection. In case of such a bestowal, a new rose is made during the subsequent year. The meaning and symbolism of the golden rose is expressed in the prayer of blessing. It represents Christ in the shining splendor of His majesty, the "flower sprung from the root of Jesse." From this ecclesiastical custom Laetare Sunday acquired its German name, Rosensonntag (Sunday of the Rose).
In this country Laetare Sunday receives much publicity in the papers because of Notre Dame's bestowal each year (since 1883) of the Laetare Medal on an American lay Catholic distinguished in literature, art, science, philanthropy, sociology, or other field of achievement. It is an adaptation of the papal custom of the golden rose, and the medal is made of heavy gold and black enamel tracings bearing the inscription "Magna est veritas et praevalebit" (Truth is mighty and shall prevail). It is suspended from a bar on which is lettered "Laetare Medal."
|In England a charming tradition developed toward the end of the Middle Ages. On Laetare or Mid-Lent Sunday, boys and girls who lived away from home (as apprentices, servants, etc.) were given permission to go home to visit their mother church, in which they were baptized or had been brought up. They always carried with them gifts to put on the altar. The original reason for this was because the first words of the Mass, "Laetare Jerusalem," were considered in medieval times to be addressed to the "second Jerusalem" (the Church). And as the Jews called Jerusalem "Mother Jerusalem," so the Christians later called the church which gave them spiritual birth in baptism, "Mother Church." It was also the custom for the boys and girls to visit their own mother on the same day. They brought her flowers and simnel cakes (a rich plum cake; from simila, fine flour) and would do all the housework for her. This old custom still survives in certain parts of England, and the cakes are sold in London as well as provincial towns. Hence the name "Mothering Sunday" and the famous old saying, "He who goes a-mothering finds violets in the lane." An ancient carol entitled "Mothering Sunday" (It Is the Day of All the Year) may be found in the "Oxford Book of Carols." The tune is taken from an old German song of the fourteenth century. Robert Herrick (1674) mentioned the custom in his poem To Dianeme:
I'll to thee a simnel bring
Our own Mother's Day, first celebrated in May 1914, does not have either the same origin or historical background, but the central idea of bestowing special favors and little gifts on our mothers in appreciation and love is similar. In many churches sermons are devoted on that day to the greatest mother of all, the Blessed Mother, Mary.
Laetare (Rejoice) Sunday is the day that since we have passed the halfway point of Lent the Church looks forward to the joy of Easter. Its called Rose Sunday for two reasons. First, priests may wear rose-colored (practically pink) vestments today. Second, its the day of the blessing of the golden rose in St. Peters, a ceremony that was already called an ancient ceremony in 1051. The intricately fashioned solid gold roses were once sent to Catholic monarchs. Now they are bestowed on shrines.
A rose comes from a thorny stem yet has beauty and a sweet smell. This is a symbol of the way Christians faith blossoms in Lent from sacrifice.
Pope John Paul II awarded four golden roses; Pope Benedict XVI has awarded seven.
Pope Benedict XVI has given roses to shrines in countries he has visited. For instance, in 2008, the year of his U.S. visit, he bestowed the golden rose on the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.