Many people are surprised to learn that the celebration of the Mass before the changes following the Second Vatican included much more scripture than the form of Mass used in most parishes today. The revision of the English text in 2011 sought to use more recognisable scriptural translations for the prayers of the Mass, for example “and with your Spirit” (ref: Gal 6:18; Phil 4:23; 2 Tim 4:22) and “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…”  (ref: Matthew 8:8).

In most parishes, hymns have replaced the scriptural Propers (antiphons) which were sung at the Entrance (Introit), Offertory and Communion of the Mass.

This weekend’s Third Sunday of Advent is often known as Gaudete or “rejoicing” Sunday, and this is the day on which the rose-coloured third candle of the Advent wreath is lit.

This name “Gaudete” is taken from the first word of the Entrance Antiphon for the Third Sunday of Advent. Imagine this being sung reflectively in the moments before this weekend’s Mass begins. The mind and heart is drawn to Christ who desires to remove all our anxiety…all we need to do is to ask. You might like a moment to pray the antiphon, perhaps two or three times, with the video clip below.

Rejoice in the lord always
Again I say rejoice
Let your forbearance be known to all people
Do not be anxious in anything
The Lord is at Hand
But in all manner of prayer
Let your requests be known unto God

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