The fourth Sunday of Lent is the other time when we use rose-pink vestments at Mass. Laetare too means “Rejoice!” or “Be Happy” — if you’ve ever sung the first verse of Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful in Latin), you’ve sung a form of this word: Adeste fideles, laeti triumphantes.
As on Gaudete Sunday, the day takes its name from the entrance prayer and antiphon of the Latin missal:
Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus.
Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. I rejoiced when they said to me: “we shall go to the house of God.”
Rejoice! For we know our Lord is risen, and we go to meet Him.