Saturday, 13 March 2021

Fourth Sunday of Lent - Laetare


The nickname Laetare originated from the first word of the Introit chant for Sunday’s Mass, “Rejoice!”

On Laetare Sunday there is a slight relaxation of Lent’s penitential spirit, because we have a glimpse of the joy that is coming at Easter, now near at hand.  Moreover, in the ancient Roman Church, before Lent was lengthened, the real, strict discipline began on the Monday after this Sunday.

The custom of using rose (rosacea) vestments is tied to the Station churches in Rome (when the Pope travels to the main churches to celebrate Mass each Sunday). The Station for Laetare Sunday is the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem where the relics of Cross and Passion brought from the Holy Land by St. Helena (AD 329), mother of the Emperor Constantine (AD 337), were deposited. It was the custom on this day for Popes to bless roses made of gold, some amazingly elaborate and bejeweled, which were to be sent to Catholic kings, queens and other notables. The biblical reference is Christ as the “flower” sprung forth from the root of Jesse (Is 11:1). Thus Laetare was also called Dominica de rosa…. Sunday of the Rose. It didn’t take a lot of imagination to develop rose colored vestments from this. Remember, the color of the vestments is called rosacea, not pink. This Roman custom spread by means of the Roman Missal to the whole of the world.

There is rosy anticipation in today’s Collect just as there was in Advent.

O God, who through your Word

reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way,

grant, we pray,

that with prompt devotion and eager faith

the Christian people may hasten

toward the solemn celebrations to come.

Note the marvelous parings of  “eager faith” and “ready devotion”. 

We know that fides “faith” can refer to:

the supernatural virtue which is given to us in baptism 

and also to the content of what we believe. 

This content must be understood as both the things we can learn and memorize with love, but more importantly the divine Person whom we must learn and contemplate with love.

There is a faith by which we believe, the virtue God gives us, and a faith in which we believe, the content of the Faith.

(Excerpts from an article by Fr Zulsdorf)





Monday 9.30am. Lenten Feria

Tuesday 12 noon (EF). Lenten Feria

Wednesday  9.30am.  St Patrick


Confessions following on from Stations

Friday 9.30am. St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin

Saturday --- No public Mass today

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