March 14th

This Sunday is known as “Laetare” Sunday and it marks the halfway point in our Lenten journey towards Easter.  The word Laetare is a Latin word that means rejoice.  Laetare Sunday is meant to give us a slight respite, liturgically, from our austere Lenten atmosphere in the Church.  Laetare Sunday is a reminder that Easter will soon be here and so we take a moment to rejoice that we have passed the halfway mark.

There are a few liturgical signs which denote the subdued rejoicing of Laetare Sunday.  The priest may wear rose-colored vestments on this Sunday instead of the violet that has been worn since Lent began.  The sanctuary may also be decorated with rose.  Rose is meant to be a sign of subdued joy.  It is not yet the full rejoicing of Easter (signified by white), but it is not the somber violet that we have seen up until this Sunday.  There may be flowers in the sanctuary of the Church, whereas all the other Sundays of Lent the decoration is supposed to be sparse in order to indicate the penitential nature of the season.

Laetare Sunday can be a good opportunity to take a moment during this holy season to examine how our Lent has been going up to this point.  If we have not been faithful to the Lenten practices that we have decided to take on this year, this Sunday is a good time to renew our efforts.  If we have been faithful, then this Sunday is a good time to commit ourselves to persevere throughout the second half of Lent.

Let us all continue our efforts to root sin out of our lives and draw closer to Our Lord, in order that we may celebrate Easter with hearts that have been purified by this holy Lenten season.

God bless,

Father White