Today is Laetare Sunday, a special day in the Christian liturgical calendar when we pause during the austere season of Lent for a joyful celebration. The word laetare in Latin means rejoice! — and it comes from a verse in the Book of Isaiah that is traditionally read on this day:
In this week’s service, we focus on the theme of Joy — rejoicing even despite our troubles and afflictions, which is made possible by faith in a God who loves us with infinite compassion. In the middle of Lent, we pause for celebration of a God who cares for us and uplifts us as our perfect Mother and Father in Heaven, fortifying our souls for the journey to the cross of Christ that lies ahead. We also tell the story of Fanny Crosby, who overcame severe disability and became one of the most prolific hymn writers in history.