Laetare Sunday

The Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 11, 2018

Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent, Laetare Sunday. The name comes from the traditional Latin introit to the Mass, "Laetare Jerusalem" (Rejoice, O Jerusalem). It marks the hopeful halfway point on our Lenten journey to Easter Day, and it is set apart from the other Sundays in Lent through the use of rose vestments. In England, it is referred to as "Mothering Sunday," originally a time when people returned to their "mother church" (the church where they were baptized). Servants were given the day off to return to their home churches; this was often the only time that families could celebrate together, since time off was rarely granted on other holidays. Children often gathered flowers along the way, placing them in the church or giving them to their mothers. Special pastries, especially a light fruitcake called "simnel cake," were served. (View a recipe here: Simnel Cake.) In the UK and Ireland, this day now serves as the equivalent of our "Mothers Day."

In keeping with tradition, our service music "lightens up" a bit. Notice the somewhat brighter hymns and organ music in major keys. As Daylight Savings Time begins, we also notice the lengthening days and hope for the warmth of springtime.

Today's anthem provides a nod to St. Patrick's Day later this week. The text is a portion of an ancient text attributed to the saint, St. Patrick's Breastplate. The musical setting is by an Irish composer, Bernard Sexton. Listen to a recording here: Prayer of St. Patrick

Easter arrives 20 days from now at the Great Vigil of Easter. Enjoy today's Lenten "halftime" celebration! Make a point to reconnect with family and friends. Remember and give thanks for our cathedral and for churches and communities that were important in your faith journey. Leave this place with a spring in your step, and be sure to stop by coffee hour for a mid-Lent treat. 

Music for the Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 11, 2018
Hymns: 686, 671, 143, 691, 429, 473
Service Music: S-96, S-106, S-130, S-164
Anthem: "Prayer of St. Patrick"  -Bernard Sexton
Organ music: 
Kyrie from Messe pour les Convents
-Francois Couperin                                                      
(Plein jeu, Fugue sur la Trompette, R├ęcit de Chromhorne, Dialogue)



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