MU Devotion Sunday 13th December – The Third Sunday of Advent
MU Devotion Sunday 13th December – the Third Sunday of Advent
Gaudete, Gaudete, Christus est natus
Ex Maria Virgine, Gaudete!
Rejoice, Rejoice, Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary, Rejoice!
Today is the day I always find myself looking on YouTube for good recordings of Gaudete. Although there are good versions such as Steeleye Span and the King Singers nothing quite matches the experience I had when listening to the boys of the National Youth Choir of Wales sing this 16th century piece in a concert at St Giles in Wrexham. I was there to watch my eldest daughter so maybe championing the boys so much is a tad disloyal!
I think the magic of this piece is the atmosphere it creates of Christmases past, before commercialisation truly set in.
Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday marks a turning point in our Advent journey. We move away from thoughts of repentance and judgement towards a time of joy, the coming of the Christ-child on Christmas night. We rejoice because the Lord is near as we are over halfway through Advent. Usually, this realisation might send me into some sort of panic as it registers that I have not even bought any cards or presents let alone written or wrapped them. This year however is so different. We accept that we cannot do all that we have in the past, so we have permission to let go of those things which cause us unnecessary stress.
In reality of course this year I am ahead of the game. There is always someone either myself, my husband or my younger daughter working in our house, so it is practical to order Christmas presents online. No more frustration of finding the time to collect parcels from the depot because we have not been in to receive them. So even in the darkest times there are things to rejoice in.
We rejoice because as the Lord draws near, we can be thankful for all that this birth means for each of us. The promise that the Lord is always with us and that in the end he will wipe away every tear when we see his glory face to face. So, no matter how bleak life may seem at times we always have a reason to Rejoice and that reason will soon be found in a crib near you.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5. 16-18
With all my love and prayers for your continuing Advent journey to welcome our Lord.