Gaudete Sunday

Posted by Censor Librorum on Dec 17, 2006 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

In one of those quirky twists in life, the word “Gaudete” and the medieval song of the same name came into my consciousness through a British folk-rock group called Steeleye Span. I first heard the song when I got their album “Below the Salt.”

The inspiration to record “Gaudete” came guitarist Bob Johnson visited a church with his father-in-law in Cambridge and heard a folk-carol service. He was attracted by the song and brought it to the attention of the rest of Steeleye Span. It reached #11 on the U.K. singles chart for the group in 1974.

In 1997, it was recorded by the all-women classical group Mediaeval Baebes as part of their #2 selling classical recording “Salva Nos.”

Today is called “Gaudete Sunday” because the word means “rejoice” as in the entrance antiphon “Rejoice, again I say to you rejoice!” Gaudete is my favorite day in our liturgical year, because it is a day dedicated to the feeling of joy. Some religious leaders focus on purification through the negative–shame, suffering and punishment to reach the love of Jesus. But Jesus brought these gifts with no condition other than an open heart to receive them.

On this third Sunday of Advent, the joy of the church today is in the coming of Jesus–once and every day–to bring us peace and joy and gladness and love.

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