Browsing Pastor's Notes

4th Sunday of Lent

Lætare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam:

gaudete cum lætitia, qui in tristitia fuistis:

ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestræ.


Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her.

Be joyful, all who were in mourning;

exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.

No matter how hard I protest that the proper name is “rose”, I’m wearing my ‘pink’ vestment once again!?! This is one of the two Sunday’s a year where we do so. The other being the third “Guadete” Sunday in Advent. Gaudete means expressed or exuberant joy. Laetare means internal joy, a joy of anticipation felt within the solemn season of Lent. Just so you know I’m not being persnickety, The General Instruction on the Roman Missal, that outlines the instructions and rules of saying Mass states:

  1. f) The color rose may be used, where it is the practice, on Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and on Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent). [emphasis added!]

  2. Moderation should be observed in the decoration of the altar… During Lent it is forbidden for the altar to be decorated with flowers. Exceptions, however, are Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts. Floral decoration should always show moderation and be arranged around the altar rather than on the altar table.

  3. In Lent the playing of the organ and musical instruments is allowed only in order to support the singing. Exceptions, however, are Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts.

And these are the only instructions regarding this “Rejoicing” Sunday of Lent. The wearing of the Rose indicates we are past the halfway point of this season of preparation. We should rejoice as we are less than halfway to the great celebration of Christ’s culminating Paschal Mystery – His suffering, death, and resurrection – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Dark Saturday, and Easter Sunday. We should also rejoice in God’s grace abundantly given and received in these first weeks of Lent. Laetare Sunday is a good point to pause to reflect on how our Lent has progressed thus far and refocus for the final days of preparation.

Pausing to acknowledge, relate, receive, and respond to God’s internal movement in our life will help us feel the internal joy. If we’ve surrendered more to Him, He is doing more in us. By honestly acknowledging that surrender (or even a lack thereof) in our thoughts, emotions, passions, and desires, we help make conscious our spiritual life and its growth. Relating to God in mediation and honest conversation what’s going on in you and to you draws us into intimate close connection to Christ. Receiving what Christ would speak to us through the Holy Spirit from the Father reassures us, challenges us, consoles us, and calls us higher, deeper, closer. This receiving can be especially aided by reflecting upon the Scriptures. Responding through our lived discipleship in action – such as prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – brings this encounter to tangible, practical life. It is acting on what God said to you personally. This could be continuing the conversation, taking some action, allowing yourself to be changed, or almost anything. This process – Acknowledge, Relate, Receive, and Responding – is known as the Pirate’s Prayer – ARRR! But you won’t be finding hidden treasure, but the Treasures stored up for you in Heaven.

You’re not seeing double… This did appear last weekend. The need still persists, and we still need folks to step up to help Holy Family provide and make possible the 6p Mass. We have immediate and pressing needs for Ushers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and Lectors. Only about 6 people have been filling these roles since the C19 re-open. They could use some partners to assist them.

Ministry Opportunities at Holy Family are listed at:


Holy Family, Forever Rejoicing in Jesus, Pray for us.

~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries


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