Gaudete Sunday is the Third Sunday of Advent. The Introit for Gaudete Sunday, in both the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo, is taken from Philippians 4:4,5: “Gaudete in Domino semper” (“Rejoice in the Lord always”).
In the Catholic Church, Advent is a period of preparation, extending over four Sundays, before Christmas. The word Advent comes from the Latin advenio, “to come to,” and refers to the coming of Christ. First to our celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas; second, to the coming of Christ in our lives through grace and the Sacrament of Holy Communion; and finally, to His Second Coming at the end of time. We should keep all three comings in mind as we prepare our souls to receive Christ worthily.
Traditionally the priest wears rose vestments on Gaudete Sunday to signify joy in passing the midpoint of our preparation for the coming of the Christ. The candle we light on the third Sunday of Advent is also rose colored.