LAETARE SUNDAY & MOTHERING SUNDAY This Sunday is often called “Laetare Sunday.” Today’s theme is one of hope and rejoicing that Easter is drawing near. The Entrance Antiphon for Mass today begins with the Latin word “laetare” meaning ‘rejoice’ and the vestments worn by the celebrant are often rose-colored which is traditionally associated with a sense of joy amidst a season of penance. Let us rejoice indeed that our salvation is near at hand. The Preface (before the ‘Holy, Holy…’) explains: “By the mystery of the Incarnation, [Christ] has led the human race that walked in darkness into the radiance of the faith”. Even as Christ draws closer to his Passion, John’s Gospel highlights the paradox that the deeper the darkness, the closer he is to glory, salvation for the whole world. The tradition of Mothering Sunday also falls on the 4th Sunday of Lent, when those in paid service had leave to visit their mothers or the mother church of the diocese, the Cathedral. We are aware of the demands this last year has placed on mothers (and fathers) and wish them a special blessing on this day. We pray for all our Mothers, whether living or departed.