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FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT - LAETARE SUNDAY

Semi-Double Feast         Rose-colored Vestments

        Editor's Note: All Scriptural Readings are taken from the Douay-Rheims version of the Latin Vulgate Bible. The preface commentaries are a combination of thoughts from various sources. Red type indicates Our Lord's direct words in Holy Scripture. Italicized Maroon type indicates Latin with priests' refrain and server's response in bold..

        In this Sunday's liturgy rejoicing is the theme as we reach the midway point of Lent. Laetare, Rejoice" says the Introit. Laetare Sunday offers us a rest in the midst of the Lenten observance. We are soon to rise again with Jesus through confession and Easter Communion.
        The Episple tells us of our deliverance through the Sacrament of Baptist or through the Sacrament of Penance by which we are restored to Christian freedom. The two sons of Abraham symbolize the two Testaments: Ishmael,, son of Agar, represents the Israelites as slaves to the Mosaic law, while Isaac, son of Sarah, represents the Gentiles whose faith makes them heirs in the promise of God and true reason for rejoicing.
        Further in the Gospel there is great reason to rejoice for it treats the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, symbols of Holy Communion and Baptism respectfully which were formerly received on the same occasion of Easter. We anticipate that glorious day in this oasis of joy during the 40 days in the desert of Lent.

READINGS FOR LAETARE SUNDAY IN LENT

INTROIT:
      Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together, all you that love her. Rejoice with joy, all you that have been in sorrow, that you may exult and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. I rejoiced at the things they said to me; we shall go into the house of the Lord.(Isaias 66: 10-11). Glory be to the Father...Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together...
Kyrie...

Dominus Vobiscum.
Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus.

COLLECT:
      Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who for our evil deeds justly deserve to be punished, may, by the comfort of Thy grace, mercifully be relieved. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

EPISTLE:
      (Galatians 4: 22-31) Brethren: It is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a slave girl, and the other by a free woman. And the son of the slave girl was born according to the flesh, but the son of the free woman in virtue of the promise. This is said by way of alle gory. For these are the two covenants: one indeed from Mount Sinai, bringing forth children into bondage, which is Agar. For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia, which corresponds to the present Jerusalem, and is in slavery with her children. But that Jerusa lem which is above is free, which is our mother. For it is written, "Rejoice thou barren, that does not bear; break forth and cry, thou that doest not travail; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that has a husband." Now, we, bre thren, are the children of promise, as Isaac was. But, as then, he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the spirit -- so also it is now. But what does the scripture say? "Cast out the slave girl, for the son of a slave girl shall not be heir with the son of a free woman." Therefore, brethren, we are not children of a slave girl, but of the free woman -- in virtue of the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free.

Deo Gratias.

GRADUAL:
     (Psalm 121: 1,7)Laetatus sum - I rejoiced at the things they said to me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. V.Let peace be in Thy strength, and abundance be in Thy towers.

TRACT:     (Psalm 124: 1-2) They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion. He shall not be moved forever, that dwelleth in Jerusalem. V.Mountains are round about it, so the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth, now and forever.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum N...
Gloria tibi, Domine.

GOSPEL:
      (John 6: 1-15) At that time, Jesus went to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. And there followed Him, a great crowd, because they witnessed the signs He worked on those who were sick. Jesus, therefore, went up the mountain, and sat there with His disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near. When, therefore, Jesus had lifted up His eyes, and had seen that a very great crowd had come to Him, He said to Philip, "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" But He said this to try Him, for He knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not enough for them, that each one may receive even a little." One of His disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to Him, "There is a young boy here who had five barley loaves and two fishes; but what are these among so many?" Jesus then said, "Make the people recline." Now, there was much grass in the place. The men, therefore, reclined, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, distributed them to those reclining; and likewise the fishes, as much as they wished. But, when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather the fragments that are left over, lest they be wasted." They therefore gathered them up; and they filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. When the people, therefore, had seen the sign that Jesus worked, they said, "This is, indeed, the Prophet, who is to come into the world." So when Jesus perceived that they would come to take Him by force and make Him king, He fled to the mountain, Himself alone.
Laus tibi, Christe.

Dominus Vobiscum.
Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus.

OFFERTORY:
     (Psalm 134: 3, 6) Praise ye the Lord, for He is good. Sing ye to His name, for He is sweet. Whatsoever He pleased, He has done in Heaven and in earth.

SECRET:
      Look down mercifully upon these sacrifices, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that they may lead to our devotion and salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God... Per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

COMMUNION:
     (Psalm 121: 3-4) Jerusalem, which is built as a city; a compact unity -- there did the tribes go up; the tribes of the Lord, to praise His name.

Dominus Vobiscum.
Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus.

POSTCOMMUNION:
      Grant, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, ever to celebrate with sincere worship, and receive with faithful hearts Thy holy mysteries, of which we continually partake. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in unity with the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever. Amen.


For the Prayers at the End of the Low Mass, see Leonine Prayers


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