December 16 (Moveable)
third Sunday of Advent
(This is represented with the Rose Candle)
Bambinelli Sunday: Baby Jesus Creche
Bring your baby Jesus to be blessed!
Gaudete means Rejoice!
Gaudete Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent in the Roman Catholic calendar of the church year. The term is derived from the Latin opening words of the introit antiphon, "Rejoice (Gaudete) in the Lord always." The theme of the day expresses the joy of anticipation at the approach of the Christmas celebration. This theme reflects a lightening of the tone of the traditional Advent observance. It was appropriate for the celebrant of the Mass to wear rose-colored vestments on this day instead of the deeper violet vestments that were typically used in Advent. This Sunday is also known as "Rose Sunday."
The blessing of baby Jesus figurines is an event that takes place at the Vatican each year. Children observe this annual tradition by bringing the baby Jesus figure from their family nativity scene to St. Peter’s Square for a special papal blessing.
The tradition, called Bambinelli Sunday, was begun by Pope John Paul II to take place on the third Sunday of Advent, or Gaudete Sunday. Following the Sunday Angelus address, the Holy Father blesses all the statues and figurines of Baby Jesus held up by the children in the crowd under the Holy Father’s window, which the children then take back to homes to be placed under their Christmas trees, waiting for Christmas Eve when the Bambinelli can be placed in the manger to mark the birth of the Baby Jesus.
Pope Benedict’s words at the 2008 Bambinelli Sunday event:
The blessing of the “Bambinelli” [Baby Jesus figurines] as they are called in Rome, reminds us that the crib is a school of life where we can learn the secret of true joy. This does not consist in having many things but in feeling loved by the Lord, in giving oneself as a gift for others and in loving one another. Let us look at the crib. Our Lady and St Joseph do not seem to be a very fortunate family; their first child was born in the midst of great hardship; yet they are full of deep joy, because they love each other, they help each other and, especially, they are certain that God, who made himself present in the little Jesus, is at work in their story. And the shepherds? What did they have to rejoice about? That Newborn Infant was not to change their condition of poverty and marginalization. But faith helped them recognize the “babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” as a “sign” of the fulfilment of God’s promises for all human beings, “with whom he is pleased” (Lk 2: 12, 14).
This, dear friends, is what true joy consists in: it is feeling that our personal and community existence has been visited and filled by a great mystery, the mystery of God’s love. In order to rejoice we do not need things alone, but love and truth: we need a close God who warms our hearts and responds to our deepest expectations. This God is manifested in Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary. Therefore that “Bambinello” which we place in a stable or a grotto is the centre of all things, the heart of the world. Let us pray that every person, like the Virgin Mary, may accept as the center of his or her life the God who made himself a Child, the source of true joy.
Read the Story & Sing!!!