Track 19: Joy to the World– Pentatonix
The Advent Theme of Joy By Eric Huntsman
Luke’s account of the Saviour’s birth, complete with the angel’s annunciation of “good tidings of great joy,” provides one of the most joyful scenes in scripture. Traditionally the third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin injunction “Rejoice!” Frequently read on this Sunday is the verse, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). While the entire season leading up to Christmas is a joyful period today, historically Advent was largely a solemn season of preparation. Gaudete Sunday was a welcome reminder that the Christmas message is, in fact, one of happiness and rejoicing.
As a result, the third candle in many Advent wreaths is often pink or rose-coloured, setting it off from the other three purple candles. I find another useful image in the pink candle, choosing to see it as representing the blood of Christ that he shed in his Passion, reminding us in the midst of Christmas preparations that Jesus came into the world foremost as a sacrifice. Nevertheless, the sorrow of Christ’s suffering and death is blotted out as we triumph in his Resurrection, and we anticipate the return of Jesus in his Second Coming with joy.