Gaudete Sunday (pronounced ɡaʊˈdɛteɪ) is the third Sunday of Advent in the Liturgical calendar of the Western churches, both Protestant and Catholic.
It can fall on any date from 11 December to 17 December.
The term Gaudete is broadly translated from Latin as Rejoice, a word that appears in the entrance antiphon (introit) of Masses held on this day: Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice; let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. (Roman Rite Catholic Mass years A, B and C).
On Gaudete Sunday rose-coloured vestments may be worn instead of violet, which is prescribed for every day in the season of Advent.
In churches which have an Advent wreath, the rose coloured candle is lit in addition to two of the violet coloured candles which represent the first two Sundays of Advent.
During the otherwise penitential season of Advent, the readings on the third Sunday emphasize the joyous anticipation of the Lord's coming.