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Laetare – Rejoice!

Three Dominican friars, including our former Director on the right, wearing Rose-colored vestments

Today is “Laetare Sunday,” which takes its name from the Entrance Antiphon, “Rejoice” (“Laetare”)

“Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her.
Be joyful, all who were in mourning;” Cf. Is 66: 10-11

Because of that uptick in joy in Lent, the liturgical color is lightened to Rose from Violet. The history of the liturgical color is lost to history, but there is an ancient tradition dating from the 8th century of the Holy Father sending a golden rose to various important Shrines, rulers, or other individuals for Laetare Sunday. Pope Francis has continued this tradition, giving four “Golden Roses” to four different Shrines (and if you’re reading this, Holy Father, don’t forget us!)

A “Golden Rose” in the Vatican Library (source: Wikipedia)