Gaudete [gawˈ dee teh] in Latin means "rejoice." In Europe, churches on Gaudete Sunday use a rose-color (pink) instead of (the winter Lenten color) purple. So Gaudete Sunday was also known as "Rose Sunday."
In churches that use an Advent wreath, the rose-colored candle #3 (joy) is lit in addition to the #1 (hope) & #2 (love or peace) purple candles, which represent the first two Sundays of Advent. The somber readings of Advent in Europe had a secondary theme of penitence, but the readings on the third Sunday would emphasize the joyous anticipation of the Lord's coming.
Why blue in our sanctuary? We still use purple in the Chapel. Since ADVENT is characterized by Christmas celebration -- in contrast to the repentance theme of LENT -- the color for the season should not be solemn royal purple color of LENT, but, instead, the royal blue of celebration. This IS a subjective choice: linking colors with certain moods. But since American culture is crazy with Christmas from Halloween on …well blue seems the more appropriate color. More on that in worship this morning!