Monday, January 6, 2020

Epiphany - (Traditionally on the 6th)

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your Light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. ~Isaiah 60:1
They were men willing to sacrifice 
of themselves in order to find a newborn King.  
This is a sign of their wisdom:
their willingness to sacrifice.
Many Christians around the world annually celebrate Epiphany on January 6. It is a public holiday in many countries and marks when the three wise men, or kings, visited infant Jesus. Three Wise men following the star. The three wise men's (or kings) visit to the baby Jesus is remembered on the feast of the Epiphany.

AND WISE MEN *STILL* SEEK HIM!

The Epiphany is 12 days after Christmas in the Gregorian calendar, it marks not only the end of the Christmas holidays but also the start of the Carnival season, which climaxes with Mardi Gras. In some European countries, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, children dress as the three kings and visit houses. In their roles as the kings, or wise men, they sing about the Jesus’ birth and pay homage to the “King of kings”. They are rewarded with praise and cookies. Dia de los Reyes Magos is the Latin American celebration of Epiphany.

In many Latin American countries, it is the three wise men and not Santa Claus who bring gifts for children. Children write letters to the wise men telling them how good they were and what gifts they want. In France Le Jour des Rois (the Day of Kings), sometimes called the Fête des Rois, is celebrated with parties for children and adults. The galette des rois, or “cake of kings”, highlights these celebrations. This cake is round and flat, cut into the pantry, covered with a white napkin and carried into a dining room. Children in Spain fill their shoes with straw or grain for the three kings’ horses to eat and place them on balconies or by the front door on Epiphany Eve. The next day they find cookies, sweets or gifts in their place. The “three kings” make an entry in many cities in Spain on Epiphany Eve, accompanied by military bands and drummers in medieval dress. What's Open or Closed? Epiphany is a public holiday in countries such as Austria, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Ethiopia (but on different date that varies annually), parts of Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, and Uruguay. It is not a public holiday in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States (except the US Virgin Islands where it is a public holiday).


The  Epiphany is commonly known as Three Kings’ Day or the Feast of the Epiphany. It means “manifestation” or “showing forth”. It is also called Theophany (“manifestation of God”), especially by Eastern Christians. Epiphany refers not only to the day itself but to the church season that follows it – a season that has a varied length because it ends when Lent begins, and this depends on the date of Easter. It commemorates the first two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity, according to Christian belief, was manifested: when the three kings (also known as wise men or Magi) visited infant Jesus in Bethlehem, and when John the Baptist baptized him in the River Jordan. The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches emphasize the visit of the Magi when they celebrate the Epiphany. The Eastern Orthodox churches focus on Jesus’ baptism. Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts. It was celebrated since the end of the second century, before the Christmas holiday was established. Like other Christian seasons, the church appropriated Epiphany from an old pagan festival. As early as 1996 BC, the Egyptians celebrated the winter solstice (which then occurred on January 6) with a tribute to Aeon, the Virgin. It is important to note that the holiday was established prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction. Symbols Various paintings, artworks and sketches show the three wise men and Jesus.

Some paintings artworks show the three wise men on the way to Bethlehem or adoring baby Jesus. The kings are important because their visit illustrates that Jesus was the king of all kings who came for the Jews and the Gentiles.

 The star that guides the wise men to Christ also symbolizes Epiphany, as well as the three gifts they gave to Jesus: Gold (fit for a king). Frankincense (used to worship at a temple). Myrrh (used for embalming, as well as a salve for irritations such as diaper rash). Many Orthodox churches consider Jesus’ baptism to be the first step towards the crucifixion. The liturgical color for the Epiphany season is white.
Epiphany (also known as Twelfth Night, Theophany, or Three Kings Day) marks the occasion of a time-honored Christian tradition of “chalking the doors.” The formula for the ritual — adapted for 2018 — is simple: take chalk of any color and write the following above the entrance of your home: 
20 + C + M + B + 20.
The letters have two meanings. First, they represent the initials of the Magi — Caspar, Malchior, and Balthazar — who came to visit Jesus in His first home. They also abbreviate the Latin phrase, Christus mansionem benedicat: “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “18” at the end mark the year. Taken together, this inscription is performed as a request for Christ to bless those homes so marked and that He stay with those who dwell therein throughout the entire year.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Don't Cut Yourself Short

Things are rapidly nearing a crescendo in world events and eternal consequences. If you believe in eternity, really do value your soul & love Jesus, at Least Read The WHOLE Bible. It is undeniable that the Catholic Church put together the Bible and that Martin Luther removed 7 books. He removed those books to support his newfound faith.
That first break away from the fullness of Truth has borne over 30,000 other denominations and no two can agree on the same doctrine. Yet the Catholic church today is the same as it was in the catacombs of the first century.
Now tell me, don't you think you owe it to your soul to at least give yourself the OPPORTUNITY to read what Luther took away from you?
Be led by the Holy Spirit into the  fullness of all Truth.
Jesus instituted seven Sacraments not just two. I know many who love Jesus with all their hearts; yet they rob themselves of the grace that God wants to shower on them by not availing themselves of all that He gave us for our sanctification.
So many say: "Jesus said call no man Father." (However, certainly it's in the commandments to honor your FATHER and your mother ... additionally St. Paul refers often to himself as a FATHER and calls his disciples children.) And they hold fast to those Words because they came from the Mouth of the Lord.
But at the same time, when our dear Lord replicates Himself to be with us until the end of time as He promised, pronouncing very clearly: "This IS My Body, this IS My Blood." They say it is only SYMBOLIC. How sad that have they have apparently forgotten the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. If the Lord can multiply food for a crowd, can He not multiply Himself to be united with us forever as He promised?
They're cheating themselves out of the most intimate Union there can be with the Lord on this Earth. Jesus
goes on to say in John 6:53 (clarifying because He knew how they doubted this hard saying in their hearts): "Verily verily I say unto you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of man and drink His Blood you have no life in you." (Go ahead look it up, I'll wait.)
Please don't misunderstand. This is not an attempt to push my beliefs on anybody for the sake of my own gratification or anything else. It is a yearning to help others (who obviously love Jesus) to receive all He so earnestly wants to bestow upon us all.
Jesus came so that we might have life and have it to the FULL. He wants to share with us all the Father has shared with Him. He wants us ALL to be one in Him as HE is One with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be ONE FOLD, and ONE SHEPHERD. 
~John 10:16

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Feast of the Holy Family - 1st Sunday after Christmas

The Feast of the Holy Family is usually celebrated on the Sunday following Christmas, Dec. 31 this year. If there is no Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day, it is celebrated Dec. 30. The Holy Family, made up of the Christ Child, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, serves as a model for all families.

This feast honors their lives together, beginning in Bethlehem and then moving to Nazareth, Egypt and back to Nazareth. The feast recognizes the humility of Jesus, Mary’s virtue and Joseph’s steadfastness, along with the obedience of all three to God’s plan for them in salvation history.

“Here we can learn to realize who Christ really is. And here we can sense and take account of the conditions and circumstances that surrounded and affected His life on earth …,” reflected Blessed Paul VI while visiting the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth in 1964, adding that from the Holy Family we learn about silence, family life and discipline. “How I would like to return to my childhood and attend the simple yet profound school that is Nazareth! How wonderful to be close to Mary, learning again the lesson of the true meaning of life, learning again God’s truths.”

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is the model for all Christian families. Beginning in the
17th century, devotion to the Holy Family spread throughout the Church. In 1893, Pope Leo XIII approved the feast of the Holy Family; composing part of the Divine Office observing it. Since ancient times, the Coptic Church has celebrated this memorial in light of the flight into Egypt. Succeeding Pontiffs have affirmed the feast as an efficacious means of reminding Christians of the sanctity of the family and it's essential role in disseminating and preserving the Faith.

The example of the Holy Family at Nazareth is a template for the restoration of family life and a safeguard against diabolical, present-day efforts to redefine or end the institutions of marriage and the "Domestic Church" as ordained by God. For Mary and Joseph, having God Incarnate in their midst was an unrivaled joy.

Looking at the Holy Family, we see the love, the protection, and the diligent care that they gave to the Redeemer. We can not fail to feel uneasiness, perhaps a shameful thought, for the times in which we have not rendered the appropriate care and attention to the Blessed Eucharist. We can only ask for forgiveness and do penance for all the sacrilegious acts and lack of respect that are committed against the Blessed Eucharist. We can only ask the Lord, through the intersession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, for a greater love for their Son Incarnate, who has decided to remain here on earth with us every day until the end of time.


Prayer to the Holy Family
Almighty God and Father, Who was pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of Your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and with the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents' Day is observed on December 28. The Massacre of the Innocents is the biblical narrative of infanticide by Herod the Great, the Roman appointed King of the Jews. The number of infants killed is not stated, however the Holy Innocents have been claimed as the first Christian martyrs. The commemoration of the massacre of these "Holy Innocents" - considered by some Christians as the first martyrs for Christ - first appears as a feast of the western church in the Leonine Sacramentary, dating from about 485.

Today, the date of Holy Innocents' Day, also called The Innocents' Day or Childermas or Children's Mass, varies. The 27th of December is the date for West Syrians and East Syrians. 28th December is the date in the Church of England, the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church (in which, except on Sunday, violet vestments were worn before 1961, instead of red, the normal liturgical colour for celebrating martyrs). The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the feast on 29 December.

Rachel still weeps for all children killed by the evil actions of those participating in governance. There is an ongoing struggle between life and death. Christians are engaged in that conflict every single day. We cannot ever withdraw from the obligations it entails. One of those obligations is the defense of the Right to Life of children in the womb. Those who use Pope Francis in some contrived effort to persuade Catholics to back down from such an unequivocally Pro-Life position are selectively reading this Pope. Francis is simply reminding us that our defense of the child in the womb must also include a defense of all human persons and all of the poor and vulnerable. No-one, to use the words of Francis - can be discarded.

The killing of the Holy Innocents continues in this age through legal abortion and every politician or political leader who
supports it is a Herod.
On December 28th Roman Catholic Christians commemorate the martyrdom of the Holy Innocents, the male Hebrew children slaughtered by an evil ruler named Herod:

"When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet: A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more'. (Matt. 2)

Medical science confirms what the Natural Law, our conscience, the Word of God and the unbroken Christian tradition have long confirmed, the child in the womb is one of us. We all know it. We routinely operate on her when she needs our help and place her back in her first home of the womb until birth. We prosecute a criminal who, in committing a crime against his mother, kills him as well.

The abortion lie has been visibly revealed through 3 and 4d ultrasound technology. The beauty of that child now adorns our walls and fills our wallets. Every procured abortion is the intentional killing of such a holy innocent. This act is as immoral as the intentional killing of child outside of the womb. That is because we are always human persons in development. The me at 61 years old is the same me who was alive at 27 years old, only developing in the continuum of the span of days we call our human life.

No politician or public official who supports legal abortion is a real friend of the poor. That is true regardless of their party affiliation and no matter what rhetoric or political sophistry they engage in. As Mother Teresa reminded us, the baby in the womb is the poorest of the poor. The Obama Administration continues the evil of Herod by funding this killing of Holy Innocents.

The killing of the Holy Innocents continues in this age through legal abortion and every politician or political leader who supports it is a Herod.Planned Parenthood receives millions in government grants and contracts. A majority of the members of the Congress of the United States are now complicit in evil by failing to remove funds from the recent budget compromise bill. That money will now go to Planned Parenthood to continue the evil of funding abortions. This is utterly reprehensible.

This nefarious organization has dressed itself up as a Health Care Provider. They include the taking of the life of innocent children under what is euphemistically called reproductive services. There is nothing reproductive about abortion. It is not a service to the child who is being killed, the mother, the father or society. Nor is it health care. It is killing children, plain and simple. Funding it is always morally repugnant. Every member of Congress who supported the current budget bill and failed to act to remove the funding for Planned Parenthood should be ashamed of themselves.

On September 22, 2013, Pope Francis addressed an international gathering of Catholic Gynecologists and told them "Every child that isn't born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord." Every child killed by legal abortion in this age is a Holy Innocent. Every politician who supports this killing, implicitly or explicitly, carries on the evil of Herod.

Quodvultdeus was a deacon and Church father in the 5th century. He wrote concerning the evil ruler named Herod whose murder of the Hebrew children we recall today in the Roman catholic Liturgical calendar:

"A tiny child is born, who is a great King. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore One who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of One who is born a King, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill Him, though if he would have faith in the Child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and forever in the life to come.

"Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

"You are not restrained by the love of weeping
mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.

"Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace, so small, yet so great, who is lying in the manger. He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil. He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God's adopted children.

"The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the savior already working salvation.

"But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it. How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory."

For my fellow Catholic Christians, let me state it emphatically, the teaching of our Church is absolutely clear. Every professing Catholic is duty bound to embrace it - and act on it in the exercise of their citizenship. This teaching is summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It cannot- and it will not - ever change:

"Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. (Jer 1:5; cf. Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11) "My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. (Ps 139:15).

"Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: "You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish." (Didache 2,2:SCh 248,148; cf. Ep. Barnabae 19,5:PG 2 777; Ad Diognetum 5,6:PG 2,1173; Tertullian, Apol. 9:PL 1,319-320.) God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes. (GS 51 § 3)"

"Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae - by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.


"The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation: "The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.

"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights." (CCC #2271 - 2273)

Elected leaders and political candidates who oppose the Natural Law Right to Life of the child in the womb - and directly or indirectly promote abortion as a legally protected choice - are the King Herod's of this hour. We cannot - and we must not - support any candidate for public office who will not recognize the inalienable Right to Life of every single human person, including the child in the womb. We must be unequivocal in our defense of every innocent human life from conception to natural death.

Those who use Pope Francis in some contrived effort to persuade Catholics to back down from such an unequivocally Pro-Life position are selectively reading this Pope. Francis is simply reminding us that our defense of the child in the womb must also include a defense of all human persons and all of the poor and vulnerable. No-one, to use the words of Francis, "can be discarded". I end with some more words from the speech he gave to the Catholic gynecologists in 2013:


"A widespread mentality of profits, the "culture of waste," that today enslaves the hearts and minds of so many, comes at a terribly high cost: it requires the elimination of human beings, especially if they are in a weaker physical or societal condition. Our response to this mentality is a "yes" to life, one that is decisive and without hesitation. "The first right of a human person is his own life. He has other goods and some of these are quite precious; but this is the foundational good, the condition for all others" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion, Nov. 18, 1974, no. 11).

"Material things have a price and can be sold, but human persons have a dignity; they are worth more than material things and have no price. So many times, we encounter situations where we see that life is of little account. For this reason the attention to human life in its totality has become in recent times a true and appropriate priority for the Magisterium of the Church, particularly to the most defenseless; that is, to the disabled, to the sick, to the unborn child, to the infant, to the elderly, the most defenseless forms of life.

"In the fragile human being, each of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh has experienced the indifference and the loneliness to which we often condemn the most impoverished, both in the countries of the developing world and in affluent societies. Every child that is not born, but condemned unjustly to being aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord, who even before birth, and then as soon as he is born, experiences the rejection of the world.

"And every elderly person, and-I have spoken about the child; let us turn to the elderly, another point! And every elderly person, even if he is infirm or at the end of his days, carries within himself the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the "culture of waste" proposes to us! They cannot be discarded!"

Rachel Still Weeps: The Killing of the Holy Innocents by Planned Parenthood and Politicians Must End. Pray, live and vote Pro-Life.
Herod sought to safeguard his position and lifestyle by the murder of all male children up to two years old. I can't even wrap my mind around the terror that had to ring out that fateful night with infants and children being ripped from their parents arms and slaughtered violently right in front of them and likely their older siblings! How all of heaven and the angels must have anguished over it. 

Today however, we have many Herods, male and female Herods that seek to maintain their sinful lifestyles uncluttered as they continue on their journey to find "happiness" through sin and debauchery. Think that's strong? Isn't that just what they're doing? Jumping in and out of different beds hoping that one  will be  "just right" and make them happy forever? Is this not what modern times calls "dating"?  

The sexual union was created for procreation. When it's used as RECREATION not REcreation, but RECreation; not only is something lost in the *translation*, but the dignity of the person -IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE- is lost FOREVER. So, if the error of their ways catches them and a woman should find herself WITH CHILD ... not "PREGNANT" but WITH CHILD; it's legal to just KILL THE BABY before it's born. And they can do this right up to the time it's ready TO BE BORN. The heart is beating, the little limbs are moving, it's taking nourishment and stretching. Then one day, IN WHAT SHOULD BE THE SAFEST PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE, a mother's womb, suction tears it apart literally limb from limb or a drill cracks its skull as brains are sucked out. DO THEY THINK THERE IS ANY LESS PAIN FOR THESE LITTLE ONES THAN THE NIGHT OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS with swords piercing them? And we call this *MEDICAL PROCEDURE*abortion; as if pregnancy is a DISEASE that needs to be cured. 

They wonder where the cure for cancer is ... they wonder why we don't have people that will keep our nation strong and our economy stable ... WELL WE LIKELY ABORTED THEM ALL! These are those that will never know a mother's love and tender embrace. Those that CHOSE this path for their CHILDREN will never see the love in their eyes lifted up to them or hear their giggles or see their accomplishments because at the time it didn't fit in with their lives and was INCONVENENT. 

WHAT A HORROR!!!!

May Almighty God have mercy on all who have taken a hand in this horrific atrocity from encouraging words to assisting and performing this murderous act. May all these who have had a hand in it be given the GIFT of PERFECT CONTRITION so that they're made aware of just how horrific this vile intrinsic evil is and how conditioned we've become to accept it. It IS the reason why so much has gone wronin the world from the family unit to the economic breakdown. Pray daily for the dignity of the human person to once again be VALUED as it should, as it was meant to ... in ALL STAGES from CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH. 


Matthew 2: 16-18
16Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men.
17Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
18"A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more."

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Gaudete Sunday

The third Sunday of Advent, so called from the first word of the Introit at Mass (Gaudete, i.e. Rejoice - pronounced Gaw-day-tay). The season of Advent originated as a fast of forty days in preparation for Christmas, commencing on the day after the feast of St. Martin (12 November), whence it was often called "St. Martin's Lent"-- a name by which it was known as early as the fifth century. The introduction of the Advent fast cannot be placed much earlier, because there is no evidence of Christmas being kept on 25 December before the end of the fourth century (Duchesne, "Origines du culte chrétien", Paris, 1889), and the preparation for the feast could not have been of earlier date than the feast itself. In the ninth century, the duration of Advent was reduced to four weeks, the first allusion to the shortened season being in a letter of St. Nicholas I (858-867) to the Bulgarians,and by the twelfth century the fast had been replaced by simple abstinence. 

St. Gregory the Great was the first to draw up an Office for the Advent season, and the Gregorian Sacramentary is the earliest to provide Masses for the Sundays of Advent. In both Office and Mass provision is made for five Sundays, but by the tenth century four was the usual number, though some churches of France observed five as late as the thirteenth century. Notwithstanding all these modifications, however, Advent still preserved most of the characteristics of a penitential season which made it a kind of counterpart to Lent, the middle (or third) Sunday corresponding with Laetare or Mid-Lent Sunday. 

On it, as on Laetare Sunday, the organ and flowers, forbidden during the rest of the season, were, permitted to be used; rose-colored vestments were allowed instead of purple (or black, as formerly); the deacon and subdeacon reassumed the dalmatic and tunicle at the chief Mass, and cardinals wore rose-color instead of purple. All these distinguishing marks have continued in use, and are the present discipline of the Latin Church. Gaudete Sunday, therefore, makes a breaker like Laetare Sunday, about midway through a season which is otherwise of a penitential character, and signifies the nearness of the Lord's coming. Of the "stations" kept in Rome the four Sundays of Advent, that at the Vatican basilica is assigned to Gaudete, as being the most important and imposing of the four. In both Office and Mass throughout Advent continual reference is made to our Lord's second coming, and this is emphasized on the third Sunday by the additional signs of gladness permitted on that day. Gaudete Sunday is further marked by a new Invitatory, the Church no longer inviting the faithful to adore merely "The Lord who is to come", but calling upon them to worship and hail with joy "The Lord who is now nigh and close at hand". The Nocturn lessons from the Prophecy of Isaias describe the Lord's coming and the blessings that will result from it, and the antiphons at Vespers re-echo the prophetic promises. 

The joy of expectation is emphasized by the constant Alleluias, which occur in both Office and Mass throughout the entire season. In the Mass, the Introit "Gaudete in Domino semper" strikes the same note, and gives its name to the day. The Epistle again incites us to rejoicing, and bids us prepare to meet the coming Savior with prayers and supplication and thanksgiving, whilst the Gospel, the words of St. John Baptist, warns us that the Lamb of God is even now in our midst, though we appear to know Him not. The spirit of the Office and Liturgy all through Advent is one of expectation and preparation for the Christmas feast as well as for the second coming of Christ, and the penitential exercises suitable to that spirit are thus on Gaudete Sunday suspended, as were, for a while in order to symbolize that joy and gladness in the Promised Redemption which should never be absent from the heart of the faithful.