The third Sunday of Advent, in which the rose candle is lit, is, according to Focus on the Family, called the Shepherd Candle.
The color rose, rather than the penitential purple, symbolizes the joy we feel as we anticipate the celebration of the Lord Jesus' first coming in the Incarnation and as we also anticipate His return as promised in Scripture. The Scriptures for today focus on God as being our perfect Shepherd: Isaiah 40:8-11. Verse 11 states:
"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young."
What a picture! The Lord gathering us in His arms, carrying us close to His heart! And the promise that He leads those of us with young! Oh, that brings such peace to my mothering heart.
Here is the Collect from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer for the Third Sunday in Advent:
O Lord Jesus, who at thy first coming didst send thy messenger to prepare thy way before thee; Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
We continue to celebrate Advent by daily praying the week's Collect, reading daily Scriptures, reading Scriptures from our Advent calendar, reading Tabitha's Travels, and singing carols together at the keyboard. The two middle boys have been taking lessons from Mrs. Teri since September, and they are practicing their carols and Christmas songs regularly.
So may you also celebrate this Holy season of Advent, anticipating a closer and more intimate walk with Jesus Christ our Lord.