Advent III (Gaudete) - December 17, 2017

The word Advent derives from Latin, and means "to come to" or "to arrive." Advent's message is that God in Christ is coming to the world. The Message of Advent is to "prepare." The Lord is coming whether the world is ready or not. For those unprepared, his coming means judgment. For those ready for his coming, it means salvation.

The third Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word which means "Rejoice." Thus the third week of Advent is about the joy that is ours because God has entered the world. On the third Sunday in Advent the first, second and third candles are lit. The third candle is commonly called the candle of Joy, and in some traditions the Shepherds' candle. It reminds us of the poor shepherds who were the first people to see Jesus - that we all need a shepherd, and that Jesus is our shepherd.

9:30 am Choral Eucharist (Book of Alternative Services rite)

Choral music to be decided

11:00 am Choral Eucharist (Book of Common Prayer rite)

Choral music to be decided

7:00 pm Service of Nine Lessons and Carols

The order of this service has the special character of a Vigil. It relates the story of salvation history, from "the first days of our disobedience unto the glorious redemption brought us by this Holy Child."

Carols sung during this service include: Once in royal David's city; O little town of Bethlehem; God rest you merry, gentlemen; O come all ye faithful; and Hark! The herald angels sing.