Advent 3 - Gaudete Sunday... or Steeleye Span Day for those of a certain age!
The day of pink candles, the 'day off' from the traditional fast, the day to rejoice...
A reminder that we all need a few treats, that abstension is OK and temperance good, so long as neither renders us miserable.
The old practice of counting blessings, and more contemporary ones of finding one thing every day for which to be grateful seem to relate to this gaudete moment, suggesting that it can be found in every day, even the very darkest, if only we take the time to recognise them.
This gaudete Sunday, I will be meeting a friend from Warrington who is in Glasgow whilst visiting relatives elsewhere in Scotland. It's very rare we see each other, so it will be a special time of catching up and sharing.
With two full weeks to go to Christmas, this year we are given out 'rejoice' break with still a long way to go on our journey... but maybe that's no bad thing.
Many friends and acquaintances have had very challenging times of late, so my prayer has to be that gaudete will not have a hollow ring for them but, rather, will allow them, if only for a moment, to smile, laugh, enjoy and re-joice.