This homily was given at Old Saint John’s, Silver Spring, Maryland, at a Low Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite:
In the richness of the Church’s year, today reveals itself as a moment of particular joy and consolation. Still marked by the subdued character of the lenten season it stands out all the more as the organ opens wide her mouth in praise of God, as the flowers of the frustrated spring adorn the holy altar, and as the sacred ministers – now for seven weeks in ‘royal purple dight’ – are clad in rosy hue. The very first word of the Introit at this Mass reveals the character of our prayer: Lætare, rejoice! On this day, Holy Mother Church does not simply allow us to let up from our observance of her solemn fast but encourages it, as she consoles her ‘children of promise’. As the collect prays, ‘Grant […] that we, who are justly afflicted for our deserts, may be relieved by the comfort of thy grace’.