What is Gaudete Sunday?

Gaudete Sunday Definition and Information

Four Advent candles with the pink one in front

Gaudete Sunday is the name given to the third Sunday of Advent, the nearly four-week season leading up to Christmas. In 2023this date is Sunday, December 17. In 2024, this date is December 15.

The name "Gaudete Sunday" is taken from the words of the introit, Gaudete in Domino semper, "rejoice in the Lord always."

The Scriptural basis for this Sunday comes from Phillipians 4:4-5. Similar to Laetare Sunday during Lent, Gaudete Sunday is a minor "break" from the more penitential nature of the Advent season, and signals a shift from a penitential style of waiting to a more joyful tone.

In the past, when organs and flowers were forbidden during the Advent season, they were permitted during Gaudete Sunday. Because of the more joyful tone of Gaudete Sunday, rose (pink) colored vestments may be used instead of the normal violet ones. Also, the rose colored Advent candle is lit.



Updated 12-12-2018