Skip to comments.Laetare Sunday, the Golden Rose, Simnel Cakes, Lenten Marriage, and Mothering Sunday
Posted on 03/26/2006 3:44:39 PM PST by sionnsar
Today is Laetare Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent. In the UK it is till called "Mothering Sunday" because of the fact that in the 16th century, the faithful returned to their "mother church" or Cathedral for a service to be held on the 4th Sunday of Lent. Anyone who took this "mini-pilgrimage" was said to have gone 'a-mothering.'
Since people each returned to a central location, families that had been seperated (remember there were no cars or trains) were reunited. This custom existed into the 19th century in a more secular form: servants were allowed on this weekend to go home and visit their family.
Also associated with this Sunday are the traditional Simnel Cakes baked to celebrate the reunification of families and a refreshing break from Lent.
In some places, this Sunday is the only time during Lent in which Christian marriage may be solemnized. And let's not forget the rose vestments. Rose colored vestments apparently have two different explanations. The first is the that the color of rose comes from the floral gifts given to mothers on account of sons being able to see the mothers once again upon reunification with their families. The other more likely origin comes from the tradition of the Golden Rose. On this fourth Sunday of Lent, the Pope would bless the "Golden Rose" to be sent to Catholic kings and queens. This Sunday became known as "Dominca de Rosa," and eventually rose colored vestments were introduced to complement the theme.
All that being said, have a happy, refreshing, and holy Laetare, Mothering, Refreshment, Rose Sunday.
Catholic Brethren ping. V's wife.
|March 26, 2006
Fourth Sunday of Lent
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God (John 3:14-18).
This Sunday was formerly called "Laetare Sunday" since its mood and theme was one of hope and rejoicing that Easter was near. In the reformed calendar this Sunday is not different from the other Sundays of Lent even though the entrance antiphon for the day still begins with the Latin word "laetare" and the vestments worn by the celebrant are rose-colored, not violet. The day is important because it is the day of the second scrutiny in preparation for the baptism of adults at the Easter Vigil.
The first reading is taken from the Book of Chronicles 2 Chron:36:14-16, 19-23. It refers to the edict of Cyrus, the king of Persia, permitting the exiles to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple, which had been burned by the Chaldeans as a punishment from God for the infidelities of the Chosen People.
The second reading is from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians 2:4-10. In today's extract St. Paul is emphasizing the gratuitousness of the gift of faith which the Ephesian converts have received. This gift which God gave them, even when they were sinners, had united them to Christ, and has given them the right to share in His glorious resurrection and inherit heaven with Him and through Him.
The Gospel is from St. John 3:14-21. This man Nicodemus had a half-open mind as regards Jesus. He was moved by his teaching and miracles. He defended him when his companions were out to have Jesus arrested. He helped to have him properly buried when his enemies had him put to death, but that was as far as he went, apparently. There is no mention of him in the first Christian community of Jerusalem. What held him back, what kept him from giving himself fully to Jesus who spoke so kindly and told him so clearly that he himself was indeed a teacher who had come from God, that he had been offered by God as the sacrificial victim who would save the world? All Nicodemus had to do was to accept his word, "believe in him" and be baptized and he too would have eternal life.
Why did he not do this? The answer is given in the beginning of his story "He came to Jesus by night." He was one of the leading Pharisees and evidently was afraid of what they would think of him had they seen him associating with Jesus. How much more so did he dread what their reactions would be had he become a follower of him whom they called "this impostor." Nicodemus had only half of his mind open to the truth, the other half was closed and barred by his fear of what his own classthe leaders of the Jewswould think of him. He risked his own future happiness in order not to lose the present respect of his sinful associates.
What a foolish man we would all say! Yet, are not many of us often like Nicodemus, when it comes to living up to our following of Christ? There are Catholic men who would like to, and should, go much more often to Holy Communion but are afraid of what their fellow-parishioners, who receive but rarely, would think of them. There are many, far too many, Christians who will not defend or stand up for their religion when it is insulted and attacked in their place of work or in a saloon. There are Christians who stand idly by, and give at least tacit approval, when grave injustices are being carried out by individuals or by local or national groups. These and many more like them are Christian types of Nicodemus, who through fear of losing the approval, the worthless esteem, of their sinful associates, are prepared to forfeit the esteem of God and their own eternal welfare.
Nicodemus probably thought he had made reparation for his lack of openness to Jesus when he assisted at his burial. What value, however, had that work of mercy for one of his frame of mind? There are amongst us today, humanists, most of them ex-Christians, men and women who make assisting their neighbor, while excluding Christ and God, the essence of religion. While the assistance the neighbor receives will benefit him materially, what spiritual or religious value can it have for the humanist who excluded God and our Savior Jesus Christ? Humanism or concentrating on our neighbor to the exclusion of God, is an imitation of religion and a very false imitation at that. Helping our neighbor because he is a son of God is part of our true religion, and the second of the two great commandments of love; but helping a neighbor from whom we have effaced the image of God has not and cannot have any religious value or significance whatever. It is as meaningless as lighting a candle before the photograph of a wife one has deliberately deserted.
Thank God, we have accepted Christ with our whole heart and our whole mind. It is through him that we have been made sons of God. It is through him that we have learned to love God and learned of God's infinite love for us. Because all men are God's sons also, and our brothers in Christ, we will gladly help them whenever and wherever we can because God has commanded us to do so. This is true humanism which sees in the neighbor the workmanship of the almighty Creator, and what is more important still, the elevating effects of the divine Savior, as well.
Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
We do, thanks to Memorial gifts received for an elderly couple who entered into Life within 48 hours of each other at Gaudete. When parishioners tease me that I "look good in pink" I always reply..."Rose..it is Rose!"
LOL. You'll no doubt enjoy this posting by a brand-new Anglican the first time he encountered Gaudete Sunday.
Our pastor wore his rose vestments last week, and again this week. Having a "Senior Moment," he said. (He's nearly 70, and starting to drift a little.) The previous week's violet vestments were unmistakably fuscia, so it's possible he has color-perception issues, too.
I told him he looked cute in pink!
"Chocolate Pecan Pie"? Ugh! Nothing but the "real" stuff for me (and I swore off it a long time ago -- too fattening).
I wondered what "Mothering Sunday" was, when I saw it on a calendar. In the South and Midwest, churches have "Homecoming," usually in the fall. Members who've moved away come back to attend their "old" church with family members, and they have a potluck dinner and a choir concert. Pretty neat, but I hadn't thought of a nationwide date for that kind of thing.
Being close to someone who is red-green color-blind, I'm a bit sensitive to those issues. I suspect men get by with it more than women -- she calls me in as a color consultant from time to time.
Interesting! I've known people with red-green color blindness, as well, usually men.
Interesting. I grew up in the Midwest and the Episcopal churches had nothing like that. It would have been difficult for me in any case, with all the various Episcopal churches I attended from birth until departure from ECUSA.
The one I remember most fondly (from almost 40 years ago), is sadly the one I most dread seeing after having visited their website. The least of what they've done is to change the altar from facing East to facing West.
But maybe they have finally fixed the roof over the kitchen. (This was a Frank LLoyd Wright design -- I am told his roofs were a weakness.)
Methodist and Presbyterian churches, I guess!
Frank Lloyd Wright definitely tended to leak.
He was so funny last year on Laetare Sunday . . . he climbed into the pulpit and said, "I cannot speak for Monsignor, or for Deacon Tom. But THIS brother does NOT look good in PINK!"
. . . it is kinda funny to see a man of his height and girth attired in "Rose."
When his houses are restored, people usually have to make extensive repairs to foundations, which means of course that the walls also have to be repaired due to cracks from shifting foundations. Then there are the leaks . . . not just the roofs but in all sorts of odd places like around windows . . .
Somebody said, "If it's Wright, it can't be wrong." I beg to differ. If it's Wright, it's usually not right. Give me an architect who's an engineer or who has a background in construction . . . please!
But many parishes will not schedule weddings during Lent, and if one is celebrated it is a "bare bones" wedding - no Gloria, no alleluia, and the priest wears purple.
All the couple did at the wedding I saw was walk up to the chancel steps and exchange vows before the priest after Mass. That was it. No attendants (although two parents attended), no music (since it was a weekday Mass), nothing else.
I'm opposed to the Hollywood wedding with a cast of thousands, but I hope my kids have a little more festivity than that . . .
Aye, a rose by any other name...but code Pink we ain't.
I shouldn't make even mild fun of him . . . he's a very fine young man, preaches like an angel and has a beautiful baritone singing voice. (He always hits G natural square on the nose in the preface before the Sanctus. The first time it happened, I thought it was just random, but the third time it happened I was highly impressed!)
Our Nigerian priest in Oklahoma had perfect pitch. The first time he broke into song during his homily, the sleepy, Midwestern congregation was shocked, but they got into the spirit of things after a few weeks!
He frequently sings in the pulpit - as in demonstrating the "lukewarm Christian", he sang "Oh, How I Love Jesus," while yawning, stretching, looking at his watch, shaking his watch . . . then sang it beautifully by way of contrast. A few folks in the pews were startled awake by all these goings-on . . .