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4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday)
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Posted on 03/01/2008 7:52:35 PM PST by Salvation

4th Sunday of Lent
(Laetare Sunday)



The fourth Sunday of Lent is rather unique; like the third Sunday of Advent ("Gaudete Sunday"), the fourth Sunday of Lent is a break in an otherwise penitential season. The vestments for this day will be rose, as they are on Gaudete Sunday in Advent, and flowers may adorn the Altar. This day is called "Laetare Sunday" (also "Rose Sunday" ), and takes its name from the opening words of the Mass, the Introit's "Laetare, Jerusalem":
 

Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. (Psalm) Laetatus sum in his, quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus. Gloria Patri.

       

Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. (Psalm) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. Glory be to the Father.


The Gospel reading will be John 6:1-15, on the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes -- symbols of the Eucharist to come in 18 days (on Maundy Thursday of Holy Week). Note the language used in St. Matthew's account -- and in the consecration of the Mass:

Matthew 15:36
And taking the seven loaves and the fishes, and giving thanks, he brake, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the people.

And from the Mass:

Who, the day before He suffered, took bread into His Holy and venerable hands, and having lifted up His eyes to heaven, to Thee, God, His Almighty Father, giving thanks to Thee, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take and eat ye all of this.

And after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, this is what happens, according to John's Gospel:

John 6:12-13
And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten.

"Gather up the fragments lest they be lost," He said to them. And the Twelve did, symbolizing their future ordinations, their being given to power to feed His sheep with His Body and Blood as foreshadowed in the miracle of the loaves and fishes.


Customs

Laetare Sunday is also known as "Mothering Sunday" because of the Epistle reading that speaks of how not the Jews, but those who come to Christ, regardless of their ancestry, are the inheritors of Abraham's promise:

Galatians 4:22-31
For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, and the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman, was born according to the flesh: but he of the free woman, was by promise. Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from mount Sina, engendering unto bondage; which is Agar: For Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem, which is above, is free: which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he, that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was after the spirit; so also it is now. But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.

The old practice of visiting the cathedral, or "mother church" of the diocese on this day is another reason for the name. In England, natural mothers are honored today, too, in a manner rather like the American "Mother's Day." Spring bulb flowers (daffodils, for ex.) are given to mothers, and simnel cake is made to celebrate the occasion (this cake has also become an Easter Cake of late, however). The word "simnel" comes from the Latin "simila," a high grade flour:

Simnel Cake

1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
1 1/3 cups golden raisins
1 cup dried currants
2/3 cup candied cherries, rinsed, dried and quartered
1/4 cup candied mixed fruit peel, chopped
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 pound almond paste
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan. Line the bottom and sides of pan with greased parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour. Stir in the golden raisins, currants, candied cherries, mixed fruit, lemon zest and mixed spice. Pour 1/2 of batter into prepared pan.

Divide almond paste into 3 equal portions. Roll out 1/3 of the almond paste to an 8 inch circle. Place the circle of almond paste on the cake batter in pan. Cover with remaining cake batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until evenly brown and firm to the touch. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover with foil after an hour of baking. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Set oven to broil. When the cake has cooled, brush the top with warmed apricot jam. Roll out 1/3 of the almond paste into an 8 inch circle and place on top of cake.

Divide the remaining 1/3 of almond paste into 11 pieces and roll into balls. These represent the 12 Apostles minus Judas. Brush the almond paste on top of cake with beaten egg. Arrange the 11 balls around the outside edge on the top of cake. Brush the balls lightly with egg. Place cake under the broiler for 8 to 10 minutes, or until almond paste is golden brown.

The rose vestments on Laetare Sunday is a custom originating in the fact that, as a symbol of joy and hope in the middle of this somber Season, popes used to carry a golden rose in their right hand when returning from the celebration of Mass on this day (way back in 1051, Pope Leo IX called this custom an "ancient institution.")

Originally it was natural rose, then a single  golden rose of natural size, but since the fifteenth century it has consisted of a cluster or branch of roses Rose given by Pope to Shrine at Knock, Irelandwrought of pure gold in brilliant workmanship by famous artists. The popes bless one every year, and often 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 Golden Rose at right was given to the Shrine at Knock, Ireland)

The golden rose represents Christ in the shining splendor of His majesty, the "flower sprung from the root of Jesse," and it is blessed with these words:

O God! by Whose word and power all things have been created, by Whose will all things are directed, we humbly beseech Thy Majesty, Who art the joy and gladness of all the faithful, that Thou wouldst deign in Thy fatherly love to bless and sanctify this rose, most delightful in odor and appearance, which we this day carry in sign of spiritual joy, in order that the people consecrated by Thee and delivered from the yoke of Babylonian slavery through the favor of Thine only-begotten Son, Who is the glory and exultation of the people of Israel and of that Jerusalem which is our Heavenly mother, may with sincere hearts show forth their joy. Wherefore, O Lord, on this day, when the Church exults in Thy name and manifests her joy by this sign, confer upon us through her true and perfect joy and accepting her devotion of today; do Thou remit sin, strengthen faith, increase piety, protect her in Thy mercy, drive away all things adverse to her and make her ways safe and prosperous, so that Thy Church, as the fruit of good works, may unite in giving forth the perfume of the ointment of that flower sprung from the root of Jesse and which is the mystical flower of the field and lily of the valleys, and remain happy without end in eternal glory together with all the saints.

Note: you can remember to differentiate between Advent's Gaudete Sunday and Lent's Laetare Sunday -- the two "rose vestment" Sundays -- by remembering that Laetare Sunday comes in Lent, both of which begin with the letter "L."



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; laetaresunday; lent
For your information and discussion.

Rejoice!

1 posted on 03/01/2008 7:52:39 PM PST by Salvation
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To: All
Laetare Sunday

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."[31]

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
'Gainst thou go'st a-mothering,
So that when she blesseth thee,
Half that blessing thou'lt give me.

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.


2 posted on 03/01/2008 7:53:35 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Laetare Sunday

Lætare Sunday

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.


3 posted on 03/01/2008 7:54:29 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

4 posted on 03/01/2008 7:55:43 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday)

WDTPRS - translation point regarding the optional rite of washing feet & Laetare Sunday

Laetare Sunday

5 posted on 03/01/2008 8:01:17 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Most lovely reading for Rose Sunday.


6 posted on 03/01/2008 8:51:39 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz

I liked the recipe for that cake. But most people would not like the fruity stuff.


7 posted on 03/01/2008 8:58:26 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
There's a depiction of the practice of the Pope bestowing a gold rose upon an influential patron of the Church in the film "Luther" starring Joseph Fiennes. Now I understand the significance behind the Pope's action.
8 posted on 03/01/2008 9:01:01 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation

Quite a mixture of flavors and spices in that simnel cake, almost like a Christmas fruit cake. Sounds yummy.


9 posted on 03/01/2008 9:07:50 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Salvation

Oh, good! Father will be in his shrieking pink vestments today :-).


10 posted on 03/02/2008 6:50:17 AM PST by Tax-chick (If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't shoot! It might be Wednesday!)
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To: Salvation; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

11 posted on 03/02/2008 11:20:33 AM PST by narses (...the spirit of Trent is abroad once more.)
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To: Tax-chick

Our priest prefers to call it “rose”!!!!


12 posted on 03/02/2008 3:46:11 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Yes, Father Hawker calls it “rose,” too, but it’s shrieking pink. The vestments were a gift from his former parish (20 years ago) up in Massachusetts, and they are LOUD.


13 posted on 03/02/2008 4:39:46 PM PST by Tax-chick (If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't shoot! It might be Wednesday!)
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To: Tax-chick

Faith sharing bump.


14 posted on 03/02/2008 9:15:29 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: Ciexyz

And back atcha! I hope you’re having a productive Lent!


15 posted on 03/03/2008 4:37:31 AM PST by Tax-chick (I am snide and not intellectual today. How are you doing?)
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To: Tax-chick
My Lent is getting productive, thank you, as I start to plan for Easter dinner, hehehe.
16 posted on 03/03/2008 7:37:09 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: All

Papal

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. It’s called “Rose Sunday” for two reasons. First, priests may wear rose-colored (practically pink) vestments today. Second, it’s the day of the “blessing of the golden rose” in St. Peter’s, 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.


17 posted on 03/14/2010 3:44:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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