Advent wreath

The Third Week of Advent: Lord, Come and Save US!

Advent 2022: A Season of Longing and Listening

The Third Week of Advent: Lord, Come and Save US!


The third Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday. The name is derived from the Introit or opening chant for the Eucharist that day which starts as follows: Gaudete in Domino semper or Rejoice in the Lord always.

Gaudete Sunday marks the half-way point in our Advent journey. We have two weeks behind us and two weeks ahead of us. Depending on what day of the week December 25 falls the fourth week is not always a complete week. This year, because Christmas fall on a Sunday, we have a full fourth week on Advent. Next year, we will have the shortest possible fourth week of Advent as Christmas Eve falls on the fourth Sunday of Advent. So, on December 24, 2023 the morning Masses will be for the Fourth Sunday of Advent while the afternoon Masses will be for Christmas Eve.

The liturgical color for Gaudete Sunday is rose. This color is worn only twice during the liturgical year: Gaudete Sunday which mark the middle of Advent, and Laetare Sunday which marks the middle of Lent.

On Gaudete Sunday, we invite you to bring the baby Jesus from your home nativity to 9:30am and 11:30am Eucharist for a blessing. The children of Rome bring their baby Jesus to St. Peter’s Square on Gaudete Sunday for what is known as the Blessing of the Bambinelli by the Pope. It was St. Pope Paul VI who started this custom in 1969. Every pope since then has continued this blessing. Our blessing at The Basilica is based on this blessing in Rome.


What to do in the Domestic Church:


Advent Wreath

On the Third Sunday of Advent, we light the third candle on the Advent wreath.

As I mentioned last week, the origin of the Advent wreath is unclear. There is evidence of a pre-Christian custom of decorating a wheel with candles, while prayers were offered for the wheel of the earth to turn so that light and warmth would reappear. Christians then adopted this ritual and began to use it in domestic settings during the Middle Ages.

The wheel itself, a circle with neither beginning nor end, signifies eternal life. The evergreens, too, represent eternal life, with holly implying immortality, cedar expressing strength and healing, laurel touting victory over suffer­ing, and pinecones or nuts lauding life and resurrection. The four candles that were added to the wreath over time represent the four weeks of Advent.


A Blessing for the Lighting of the Third Candle

After someone in the family has lit the first and second candle on the Advent Wreath the prayer begins with the sign of the cross and continues as follows:


Leader:           Today we begin the third Week of Advent.

We open our hearts to God’s love

as we prepare to welcome Christ.

The candles of this wreath remind us that

Jesus Christ came to conquer the darkness of sin

and to lead us into his glorious light.

Let us pray that we may always be ready to welcome him.


Leader:           You came to free us from anxiety

and to fill our minds and hearts with peace:

                        Lord, come and save us.

All:                  Lord, come and save us.


Leader:           You come to baptize us in the Holy Spirit

and to kindle within us the fire of your love:

                        Lord, come and save us.

All:                  Lord, come and save us.


Priest:             You will come as the God of Joy

                        who takes delight in your people:

                        Lord, come and save us.

All:                  Lord, come and save us.


Leader:           Let us pray:

Ever-living God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ,

whose advent we await.

As we light the third candle of this wreath,

kindle within us the fire of your spirit,

strengthen our hearts and enlighten us with your grace,

that we may serve you all the days of our lives.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

All:                  Amen.


The leader ends with the sign of the cross.


A Quick Glance at the Readings for the Second Sunday of Lent


From the First Reading: Isaiah 35:1-2

The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.


From the Second Reading: James 15: 7, 9

Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.


From the Gospel: Matthew 11:3

"Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?"


This Week at The Basilica of Saint Mary


Sunday Eucharist

During the 9:30m and 11:30am Masses this Sunday we will have the annual Blessing of the Bambinelli. Please remember to bring your Bambinelli to Church.


During the 5:00pm Mass we will honor Our Lady of Guadalupe as it is the eve of her feast. The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Dale Korogi in Spanish and English. Traditional Aztec Dancers will start dancing on The Basilica Plaza at 3:30pm. Music for the Mass will be provided by La Familia Torres-Peña. A Fiesta in Teresa of Calcutta Hall will follow the Mass.


Sunday Vespers:

On Sunday afternoon we gather in the choir stalls at 3:00pm to celebrate Vespers. This form of prayer is perfect for the season as it begins with a silent procession in the dark, followed by a lighting of individual candles. We sing beautiful psalms, listen to Sacred Scripture, and pray for the needs of the world.  We end Vespers with a prayer to the Blessed Mother who is so central to the Seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Sunday Vespers is Livestreamed.


Weekday Eucharist

We celebrate Mass in the St. Joseph Chapel, Monday through Friday at 7:00am and at Noon. The noon Mass is livestreamed.


Morning Prayer:

On Tuesday and Wednesday we gather in the Basilica Choir Stalls at 9:15am for the celebration of Morning Prayer. This is a simple but beautiful way to begin your day.


The Sacrament of Reconciliation

A priest is available in the St. Joseph Chapel for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation each Saturday between 9:00-10:00am. Please mark your calendars for


Taizé Prayer with the Sacrament of Reconciliation

On Tuesday, December 13, at 5:30pm we will celebrate Taizé Prayer in The Basilica. This is a very meditative form of prayer marked by short phrases that are sung over and over again.

During the service we will have several priests available for individual celebrations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

This is a great way to prepare for a worthy celebration of Christmas.



As we advance in the Advent Season more and more of the créches or Nativity Scenes from our Basilica collection will be on exhibit in The Basilica and in the Undercroft.

Also, every day of Advent and Christmas we have a Facebook post that highlights one of the nativities in my personal collection.



This week, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Singers, and soloists will perform  Handel’s Messiah in The Basilica on Thursday, December 15 at 7:30pm and on Friday, December 16 at 8:00pm. For tickets, please go to


And please remember to be pace yourself!

Advent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian heroism. Rather, Advent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be patient.




Thank you Johan for reminding us of the peacefulness of Advent and to be patient.


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
6 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.