The Third Sunday of Advent or Gaudete Sunday will be observed in a celebration of High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street, New Haven, this Sunday, December, at 2:00 pm. Father Peter J. Langevin, Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich, will be the celebrant and homilist, and the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society will sing the Gregorian chant for the service.
Gaudete Sunday marks the midpoint of Advent and, similar to Laetare Sunday in Lent, the penitential character of the liturgy is relaxed; e.g., the organ is played, flowers are permitted on the altar, and violet vestments are replaced with rose. These externals are easily observable, but less obvious is the significance of some of the texts that the Church has selected for Gaudete Sunday’s liturgy. For example, verse one from Psalm 84 occurs twice in the Mass propers for the day; first as the Introit verse, and then again as the Offertory Antiphon.
While the appropriateness of some scriptural verses for proper texts is obvious, other scriptural verses often give the impression that they are generic without a close connection to the feast or season. To ascertain the rationale behind the selection of a particular psalm verse often requires an understanding of how the psalm is interpreted as a prefiguration of Christ. A note at the head of Psalm 84 in the Douay Bible summarizes the meaning of the psalm as representing “the coming of Christ, to bring peace and salvation to man.” Additionally, The Saint Andrew Daily Missal explains verse one’s reference to the rescue of Jacob’s people from their captivity in Babylon as representing Christ freeing His people from the bondage of sin. With these insights, may our prayerful participation in this Sunday’s liturgy be enriched.
Music for the liturgy to be sung by the Schola Cantorum of the Saint Gregory Society will include the Missa Cum jubilo (Vatican edition IX) chant ordinary, the Gregorian proper for Advent Sunday: “Gaudete in Domino semper,” the Antiphon “Alma Redemptoris Mater” set by Joseph Kempter, and the Advent Hymn, “Veni Emmanuel.”
All in attendance at this Mass are cordially invited to a coffee hour sponsored by the Saint Gregory Society immediately following Mass in the Holy Name Society room in the basement of the school building next to the church.