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Weekly Bulletin December 13, 2020
by Terrie Evans
On this 3rd week of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) we light our rose colored candle as we look forward to the joyous anticipation of the Lord’s coming. Gaudete Sunday is a counterpart to Laetare Sunday and is the midpoint in an otherwise penitential time in this liturgical season. Referred to as Rejoice Sunday, coming from the fact that Advent is half over and Christmas is soon to follow. The reading for Gaudete Sunday deals with rejoicing in the Lord as well as the connection with John the Baptist and his connection with Advent. This Sunday takes its name from the Latin word Gaudete or Rejoice, the first word of the introit of this day’s Mass to symbolize the promised Redemption. Gaudete Sunday is also called Rose Sunday with flowers being permitted on the Altar. Pope Francis said in one of his past homily’s, that Gaudete Sunday is known as the “Sunday of Joy” and instead of fretting about all we still haven’t done to prepare for Christmas, we should “think of all the good things life has given us.”
This is also Bambinelli Sunday, a tradition that was started by Pope John Paul II when thousands of people will travel to St. Peters Square with their Baby Jesus figurines from their home nativity scenes for a special blessing. Pope Francis will bless the tiny bambinello at the time of his Angelus Address. During Advent in Italy, many families will make small sacrifices and do good deeds for the Child Jesus. Every time they complete one of those deeds, the family will add a piece of straw to His manger. On Christmas Day, the Baby Jesus will be placed in the empty creche that is made comfortable by their many acts of charity.
This Sunday, December 13th is also the Feast Day of Santa Lucia (St. Lucy) known as the Queen of Light. She was the 4th Century Italian Saint that carried food to the Christians hiding out in the tunnels below Sicily. Santa Lucia is said to have worn candles in a circle on the top of her head to light the way. On her feast day in Italy, many will refrain from eating bread with families making a dessert called Cuccia, made from whole wheat berries, sweetened ricotta with candied orange and topped with chocolate shavings. It is a tradition throughout Italy, on Santa Lucia Day, for young girls to enter their parents bedrooms before dawn dressed in white gowns with red sashes as lighted candles are affixed on their heads as they serve them breakfast. She is considered the patron saint of Virgins and the Blind.