Sunday, December 11, 2011

Collects for the Third Sunday in Advent

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might 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.

We give you thanks, O Lord, for these heavenly gifts; kindle in us the fire of your Spirit, that when your Christ comes again we may shine as lights before his face; who is alive and reigns now and forever. Amen.

Today is "Gaudete Sunday" which takes its name from the Latin word for "rejoice."  In the Latin mass, the traditional introit begins, "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say 'Rejoice!' "  It's a Sunday that we joyfully anticipate the second coming of Christ.  Instead of Advent purple, the clergy wears rose vestments, and on the Advent wreath, we light the rose-colored candle today.

In some traditions, today is also known as "Stir-Up Sunday" because of the first words of the first collect, above.  

However, the collect for the last Sunday before Advent ("Christ the King") is probably the more-celebrated "Stir-Up Sunday," because it reminded cooks everywhere that it was time to mix up their Christmas puddings--which needed to stand for several weeks before baking at Christmas!

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