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 ". 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.
Instrumental music is permitted, and the altar may be decorated with
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.
Glory be to the Father.
Prayer over the Offerings (Today's Liturgy)
We place before You with joy these offerings,
which bring eternal remedy, O Lord,
praying that we may both faithfully revere them
and present them to You, as is fitting,
for the salvation of all the world.
Through Christ our Lord.
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
. The name
Mothering Sunday came about after the Epistle of the day from Galatians 4:26,
which states, "But United
States 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. Jerusalem
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."