Fourth Sunday of Lent
The fourth Sunday of Lent is called " Lætare Sunday", taking its name from the opening words of the Mass, the Introit's "Lætare, Jerusalem"— "Rejoice, O Jerusalem". In celebration, the priests wear rose-colored vestments. The point is to provide us encouragement as we progress toward the end of the penitential season. The day is a day of relaxation from normal Lenten rigors; a day of hope with Easter being at last within sight.
Lætare 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.
From today's readings:
"One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”
"My heart is drawn there where my God is hidden,
Where He dwells with us day and night,
Clothed in the White Host:
He governs the whole world, He communes with souls.
"My heart is drawn there where my God is hiding,
Where His love is immolated.
But my heart senses that the living water is here;
It is my living God, though a veil hides Him."
St Maria Faustina
of the Blessed Sacrament
A bit more on Lætare Sunday:
Lætare Sunday is also called Mothering Sunday in Europe, which is similar to the celebration of Mother's Day in the United States. The name Mothering Sunday came about after the Epistle of the day from Galatians 4:26, which states, "But Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all." The Epistle calls Jerusalem the mother of us all and this Sunday all mothers, the Blessed Virgin Mary and especially “mother church” are honored. People frequently try to attend Mass at the nearest cathedral, their mother church.
Tradition also holds that on Lætare Sunday, English children who lived away from home returned to visit the church in which they were baptized or raised. Children also visited their mothers, bringing flowers or a type of fruit cake. The occasion led to the old saying, "He who goes a-mothering finds violets in the lane."
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