Laetare means "Rejoice" in Latin. The 40 days of Lent are a time for solemnity, so how is it possible to celebrate during a time for serious meditative reflection?
Quite simply, the church recognised that people need a break! The fourth Sunday was considered a day of relaxation from the normal rigours of Lent. It was a day of hope with Easter within sight. Traditionally, weddings, which were otherwise banned during Lent, could be performed on this day.
This Feast Day was inaugurated around the eighth century to give us a ‘lift,’ a word of encouragement to help us continue during this time of renewal, of spring cleaning our lives to make us more loving and more people.
So, let’s rejoice and be good to ourselves today! By the way it’s also Mothers Day on Laetare Sunday. So let’s think of all those who nurture others, who give life to others, who provide for others.
Happy Mother's Day!
Header image by Aaron Burden