SUNDAY IS GAUDETE SUNDAY
We refer to next Sunday as the Third Sunday of Advent, but it is also has a special name, Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice in Latin and the name comes from a traditional Gregorian chant that begins, “Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, Gaudete,” which means, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.” (Phil. 4:4)
ADVENT: WHY IS ONE CANDLE PINK?
In the earliest years of the church the only church season was Lent, the seven weeks prior to Easter. Lent was a season of fasting and prayer as the church commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus. The traditional color of banners in the church during this time was a deep purple, signifying royalty, repentance, and suffering.
During Lent the church lit seven candles, one for each week of the solemn season. However solemn the season, the story of Lent also has a twinge of hope and joy since the death of Christ prefigured the resurrection. So, on the third Sunday of Lent, the church was encouraged not to fast, but to feast.
When the season of Advent was instituted, the church viewed it as a mini-Lent, a time for reflection and repentance (thus the purple). In so doing, the church adopted the first four candles of Lent and changed the third candle of Advent to pink in honor of the Lenten tradition. This is why we have a pink candle in our Advent Wreaths.
from House Church Network Association website