Sunday, December 11, 2011

Third Sunday of Advent: Gaudete Sunday

This Sunday's Gospel, John 1:19-28 - At that time the Jews sent from Jerusalem priests and levites to John, to ask him, Who art thou?) is one of my absolute favourites, in large part due to the wonderful English setting of it by Orlando Gibbons - do take the chance to listen it.

The Sunday takes its name though, from the Introit, Rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4-6), a theme that echoes through the Office and Mass for this Sunday.

Today is also the memorial of Pope St Damasus I (305-384), most famous now for appointing St Jerome as his personal secretary and encouraging his Vulgate translation of the bible, and for presiding over the Council of Rome in 382, which set down the canon of scripture.

In two Roman synods (368 and 369) he condemned Apollinarianism and Macedonianism, and sent legates to the First Council of Constantinople that was convoked in 381 to address these heresies. A fierce opponent of the Arians, he did much to promote veneration of the martyrs and enrich the churches and liturgy.

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