Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Catholic Nook: Laetare Sunday

This is a bonus edition of the Catholic Nook coming your way on a *Saturday* because of the 7 posts in 7 days blogging challenge. I have to admit, I'm getting a bit exhausted of blogging :0 but when I make a promise, I stick to it. You're welcome.

;-)

I wrote about Ash Wednesday this week, and thus I thought another post in this pre-Lent series I'm doing with Cristina about a Lenten tradition would be a nice touch. So here we are: Laetare Sunday, what the heck is that?

Laetare Sunday refers to the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Like the Third Sunday of Advent, this is one of the rare days on the Church calendar that the liturgical color is rose pink. It refers to a day of joy within a solemn season. As opposed to the rest of Lent, flowers may be placed on the altar this day. It is a day on which we receive encouragement on our penitential journey and look forward to the feast to come. Pope Innocent III remarked in 1216 that Laetare Sunday marks:

"a measure of consoling relaxation...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." (from The How-To Book of Sacramentals by Ann Ball)

Originally, this particular Sunday marked the practice of the traditio symboli, or handing over of the Apostolic Creed to the catechumens (those who will be baptized at Easter). Some time later, this practice was discontinued and combined with the baptismal ceremony.

Now we have RCIA and the Rite of Election and all that good stuff during Lent, as preparation for the catechumens and candidates.The Church has retained the rose vestments on this day, however, as well as the original joyful intent. Interesting, huh? I may or may not covet a pink veil just to match the vestments for *2 days* a year. I'm admitting to nothing.

Don't forget to check out Cristina's post today, on Shrove Tuesday! (oh, the Lenten goodness!!) Tomorrow I'm going to be putting a quick reading list of Lenten resources together for you. Do come back and visit me!

I’m writing seven posts in seven days this week with Jen at Conversion Diary. To check out other bloggers who are doing the same, see the list here.

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