Laetare Sunday: He rose, giving Himself for mercy, and we rejoice
Some years ago, now a period of more than two generations, an earthquake swept through the Church. Some called this ground-shaking experience the "spirit of Vatican II" and some called it a very risky business, involving as it did in many places the sweeping away of many traditions and customs in the Church, like a tsunami which leaves the earth bare, swept clean and unrecognizable to those who once called it home.
One of the customs that some thought it necessary to eliminate was the Church's expression of joy on this day which we call Laetare, or "Rejoice", Sunday in the use of rose-colored vestments, more elaborate music and flowers in the midst of the liturgical desert of Lent, bereft as it is of Alleluias and Glorias. Often, young priests found themselves in conflict with an older generation if they wished to explore the potential of this and other customs that help to explain and to make more tangible the mysteries of our Faith. Now this custom is reappearing in many places, embraced anew by a younger generation who are joyfully discovering for themselves the riches of our holy Faith.