St. Alban the Martyr

Laetare Sunday

27 Mar 2022 • General news

This coming Sunday is (roughly) half way through Lent. It is traditionally a time for a day’s break in the fast of Lent. The Sunday goes by different names.

One is Mother’s day, a day when we give thanks for our mother (or carer). This year we could spare a thought for mothers (and fathers) in areas of conflict, for mothers who will watch their children die, for mothers who don’t have enough food to feed their children.

On the theme of suffering parents, I would like to share another of my stations of the cross Station 4: Jesus meets his mother. In this picture we remember that Mary watched on as her son was tortured to death.

Another name for this Sunday is Laetare Sunday, this comes from the sentence that starts the Communion service “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her”, in Latin “Laetare Jerusalem et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam”. The Sunday reminds us in the middle of Lent there is reason to rejoice.

The world is in a bad place now. The war in Ukraine brings the dangers of violence and conflict close to home, but there many wars around the world, Yemen and Tigray are two that spring to my mind. Laetare Sunday is a reminder that there are many good things in the world we can rejoice over even in the middle of a difficult and troubling time. I’m not suggesting for a moment that we minimise the suffering of the world, only that we remember that suffering is not the whole picture of what is happening in the world today.