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Caroline Godin contemplates the color rose for this Third Week in Advent and all that “rose” means for her.

“It’s not pink, it’s rose.” I still imagine Fr. Tully saying this every year when I see the rose decorations adorning the altar on the third week of Advent. He retired several years ago, but some things stick in your mind. I’m more of a red girl than pink. I think I outgrew pink at a very young age, so I wasn’t as joyous as I should be when this week came along until I understood better. 

For instance, I love that the color is called rose. Rose has a special meaning in my mother's family. It was the name of my grandmother and many of the women on that side have Rose as a middle name. My grandmother passed while my mother was very young, so she has few memories of her. A gift to her is that her daughter looks like a spitting image of her mother. I even did a portrait with the same pose as one of my grandmother’s pictures for my mother’s birthday. 

While roses can technically have different colors, we often imagine them as red. Coincidentally, it’s a popular color for Christmas in secular decorations. (While Catholics are in the Advent season which is mostly purple, I confess my house is covered in red and green as well! I’m a sucker for Christmas decorations and I start early!) 




There’s more to rose than a name or color, though! While May is the month for Mary, and October the month for the rosary, December holds Advent. Advent means waiting and, while we wait for Jesus, guess who the Holy Vessel is? Mary, of course! When I think of roses, I also think of the Blessed Mother! 

There have been many stories of Mary intervening and the smell of roses lingering after. She is also often depicted with roses on her either as a crown or necklace or even in her hands. You can read Mother Mary and the Scent of Roses to hear some of those stories. So it’s easy to think of Our Holy Mother when I see or hear of roses as well. 

St. Thérèse, known as The Little Flower, also promised a shower of roses and that she would spend her time in heaven doing good on earth. Many times, after she passed, there would be the scent of roses or actual roses would appear. You can read more about St. Thérèse and her Little Way




In these cold months—I’m in New England—I like to think of the summer and going to the shore. There’s an outlook with beautiful beach roses my husband loves to smell. They’re so delicate, yet well protected by thorns. Look, don’t touch! 

Of course, the deeper purpose of the color rose for the Third Week in Advent is to show joy. Jesus is almost here and we’re to be joyous! A King is come! One more week until the shepherds meet The Good Shepherd! We’re excited and smiling so that our cheeks turn rose from joy as well! Knowing more helps me appreciate more and there’s lots to appreciate about the word “rose” for me.

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The deeper purpose of the color rose for the Third Week in Advent is to show joy. Jesus is almost here and we’re to be joyous! A King is come! #catholicmom

I’m not into flowers, per se, or anything flowery. I don’t even have a sense of smell to enjoy their fragrance (odd fact about me). But I do love roses and all they represent to me. I’m also not into pink at all, but as Fr. Tully used to say, “It’s not pink, it’s rose.” I can certainly enjoy that.



Copyright 2022 Caroline Godin
Images: Canva