Knights Templar

The Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom


Weekly Prayers

Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom

From the Office of the Grand Priory Chaplains:



Gaudete in Domino Semper – Rejoice in the Lord always!

The introit or opening Atiphon for Mass on this Sunday marks a significant change of mood in the Advent run up to Christmas and the sombre reflective tone of the liturgy and readings is replaced with one of joy and anticipation. The purple vestments worn during most of the penitential season of Advent remind us of the solemnity of the Incarnation and our need of repentance and also of the kingship of Christ, for purple was worn only by the nobility in classical times.

The rose coloured vestments and candles lit in Advent wreaths signify joy as Christmas draws near; the joy experience by the yet unborn John the Baptist who leaped in his mother’s womb when she met her cousin Mary already bearing the Christ-child. This is the joy we are exalted to share; the coming of the means of our salvation. So, on this Sunday we are allowed to celebrate with organ, bells and flowers, all denied in traditional churches during Advent.

Why rose? This cheerful colour points to a joy yet to come and there are various explanations given.

One concerns a golden rose once given annually in thanksgiving for the relics of the Passion, held in the church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. A more prosaic explanation is that rose is in fact a faded purple; natural dyes faded more quickly; and it was in medieval times the practice to don faded old garment on Gaudete Sunday as they had an air of cheerful familiarity about them. None of these customs are of importance in themselves but they all help to keep our attention and focus on what really matters.

Lo! The Lamb, so long expected,

Comes with pardon down from heaven;

Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,

One and all to be forgiven.

Pray for peace throughout the world, especially in the Middle East and for the people of the Holy Land, the cradle of Our Lord and of Christianity so dear to Templars of all generations.

Let us not forget at any time those who are suffering from the curse of vicious regimes, causing hunger and death without thought or care. For the homeless, those living on the streets, those living in whatever shelter they can find.

A Happy and Blessed Christmas,

Dame Mavis