Here is Bulletin_2016-12-11
St. Peter’s in the Minority Again: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is pretty clear in proclaiming what the Third Sunday in Advent is:
- It’s Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday! Light the third (rose-colored) candle on your Advent wreath. On Gaudete Sunday, the season of Advent shifts its focus. For the first two weeks of Advent, the focus can be summed up in the phrase, “The Lord is coming.” But beginning with Gaudete Sunday, the summary might be, “The Lord is near.” This shift is marked by a lighter mood and a heightened sense of joyous anticipation. Liturgically, the colors lighten as well. The priest usually wears rose-colored vestments, a hue seen only on Gaudete Sunday and Laetare Sunday. In times when the focus of our anticipation is often on the negative and fearful, this celebration is a reminder that God who loves us is still in charge and that we await his coming not with fear, but with tremendous joy
Our neighboring parishes fully understand that “The Lord is near” and they shift their focus so that the people in the pews, the Faithful, can rejoice with the Church throughout the world. St. John the Baptist even shifts the theme color on it bulletins to emphasize the point. And while the USCCB affirms that “The priest usually wears rose-colored vestments…“, our Pastor continues to provide us, his flock, the unusual, the minimalist view – there is nothing whatsoever important or notable about the Third Sunday in Advent.
In Fr. Z’s Blog today there is a poll posing a very simple question Did you see Rose vestments on “Gaudete” Sunday 2016?
It was still early in the day when we first viewed the poll, but already the results were telling the story. The majority of respondents declared that Rose was the color of the day (Rose/Pink 73%). Then there were those in the minority (Purple/Violet 22%, Blue 3%, other 3%). So, there it is, even if only informally, St. Peter’s is clearly in the minority – again.
Of course, this is not the first time we have discussed this point. See “A Teaching Opportunity Lost” in our post For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2014-12-14.)
Here is thought for the Parish Pastoral Council and all the parishioners of St. Peter’s to bring to our Pastor. “Father, Lent is coming. Please allow the people in the pews, our fellow parishioners, your flock, the opportunity to share with the Church throughout the world the full richness of the Roman Catholic liturgy by wearing rose vestments on Laetare Sunday and preaching a homily that befits that particular Sunday in Lent. After all, as Fr Z would say”