Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—December 12, 2013

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

— Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1

This Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, is called Gaudate or Rose Sunday. Gaudate means Rejoice – which is the first word of the introit for that day: “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice...” We rejoice because of God’s generosity to us, and God’s continued presence with and in and through us. We rejoice because of God’s promise to comfort and relieve those who are afflicted, afraid, or alone.

On this Third Sunday of Advent we light the rose or pink candle, as a reminder that we are to Rejoice.

This Third Sunday of Advent is also called “Stir up” Sunday, from the first line of the collect, or gathering prayer, that comes toward the beginning of the service:

Stir up your power, O Lord, and come among us; and because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.

BCP p. 212

At St Thomas Church, we will take that literally, and spend some time “stirring up” some fabulous Christmas puddings under the tutelage of Kate Allworthy.

See the December newsletter for more information about services, events and other opportunities for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice! Peace and blessing, Carol+

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