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The Third Advent Candle

GAUDETE – The Third Sunday of Advent

The third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday,” from the Latin word meaning “rejoice”:

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

This may be translated as

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

— Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1

A traditional Advent wreath has three purple candles and one pink one: on Gaudete Sunday, we light the pink one! We pause on our spiritual journey to lift up our eyes and see joy approaching—hence we rejoice (before settling back into penitence for the last haul toward Easter).

And the “candle” for today was chosen as an illustration of hope and the promise of joy, emerging from mourning. Hope you enjoy it!

Copyright 2012 Diana Gabaldon
[Please don’t repost or reproduce this, but you’re more than welcome to link to it if you like.]

[A conversation in the woods between Ian Murray and his (more or less) betrothed, Rachel Hunter.]

He squared his shoulders and gave a great sigh, then met her eyes directly.

“D’ye want to hear about every woman whose bed I’ve shared? Because I’ll tell ye, if so. I’ve never taken a woman unwilling—though they were mostly whores. I’m no poxed, though,” he assured her. “Ye should ken that.”

She considered that for a moment.

“I think I need not know the details,” she said finally. “But should we ever meet a woman thee has bedded, I wish to know it. Thee does not mean to continue fornicating with prostitutes once we are wed, though, does thee?”


“Good,” she said, but rocked back a little on the log, hands linked around her knees, holding his gaze. “I do wish to hear more about thy wife. Emily.”

He could feel the warmth of her leg, her body, close beside him. She hadn’t moved away from him when he’d said about sleeping with whores. The silence grew around them, and a jay called, somewhere in the wood beyond.

“We loved each other,” he said at last, softly, eyes on the ground. “And I wanted her. I—could talk to her. Then, at least.”

Rachel drew breath, but didn’t say anything. He took his courage in his hands and looked up. Her face was carefully expressionless, her eyes intent on his face.

“I dinna ken how to say it,” he said. “It wasna the same way I want you—but I dinna mean to make it sound as though…as though Emily didna matter to me. She did,” he added, very softly, and looked down again.

“And…she does?” Rachel asked quietly, after a long pause. After a longer one, he nodded, swallowing.

“But,” he said, and stopped, looking for the way to go on, because now they were coming to the most perilous part of his confession, the thing that might make Rachel stand up and walk away, dragging his heart behind her through the rocks and brush.

“But?” she said, and her voice was gentle.

“The Mohawk,” he began, and had to stop for a breath. “It’s the woman’s choice, about being married. If a woman should take against her husband for some reason—if he beats her, or he’s a lazy sot, or smells too bad when he farts…” he stole a glance, and saw the corner of her mouth twitch, which heartened him a little. “She puts his things out o’ the longhouse, and he has to go back to live wi’ the unmarried men—or find another woman who’ll have him at her fire. Or leave altogether.”

“And Emily put you out?” She sounded both startled and a little indignant. He gave her a wee smile in return.

“Aye, she did. Not because I beat her, though. Because…of the bairns.”

He felt the tears come to his eyes and clenched his hands in frustration on his knees. Damn, he’d sworn to himself that he wouldn’t weep. Either she’d think he made a show of his grief to win her sympathy…or she’d see too deep; he wasn’t ready…but he had to tell her, he’d started this on purpose to tell her, she had to know…

“I couldna give her children,” he blurted. “The first—we had a wee daughter, born too early, who died. I called her Iseabail.” He wiped the back of his hand viciously under his nose, swallowing his pain. “After that, she—Emily—she got wi’ child again. And again. And when she lost the third…her heart toward me died with it.”

Rachel made a small sound, but he didn’t look at her. Couldn’t. Just sat hunched on the log like a toadstool, shoulders drawn up around his ears and eyes blurred with the tears he couldn’t shed.

A small warm hand settled on his.

“And your heart?” she asked. “Yours died, too?”

He closed his hand on hers and nodded. And then just breathed for a bit, holding onto her hand, until he could speak again without his voice breaking.

“The Mohawk think that the man’s spirit fights wi’ the woman’s, when they…lie together. And she willna get with child, unless his spirit can conquer hers.”

“Oh, I see,” Rachel said softly. “So she blamed you.”

He shrugged.

“I canna say she was wrong.” He turned a little on the log, to look at her directly. “And I canna say that it would be different—with us. But I did ask Auntie Claire, and she told me about things in the blood…well, perhaps ye should ask her to explain it, I wouldna make a decent job of it. But the end of it was that she thought it might be different wi’ another woman. That I maybe could. Give ye bairns, I mean.”

He only realized that Rachel had been holding her breath when she let it out, a sigh that brushed his cheek.

“Do ye—“ he began, but she had risen a little, into him, and she kissed him softly on the mouth, then held his head against her breast and took the end of her kerchief and wiped his eyes and then her own.

“Oh, Ian,” she whispered. “I do love thee.”

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174 Responses »

  1. What can I say? Thank you. Every scene is a gift to savor.

  2. Thankyou so much Diana ! BEST.SERIES.EVER. Have a lovely Christmas with your family ! Season’s greetings from France. (Hope your knee is OK).

  3. Ok, I am hoping someone can help me. I just finished reading A Leaf on the Wind on All Hallows. And what fun! In the author’s notes at the end Diana mentioned that if you want to know more about the men who rescue Jerry Mac that more can be found out in Echo. My question being, is there a specific section of the book I can go back to? Or is it just Echo in general? I’d like to get the other point of view of the scene while I have it fresh in my mind. Any help would be appreciated. Now off to the bus stop to pick up my son!

    • Nicole,

      At the end of Echo, Roger and Buck are headed to Craigh na dun. That’s what Diana is referring to.


    • My question too. After reading the book about Roger’s parents, I re-read Echo in the Bone all the way through to find a clue to who sent the downed pilot back. Roger and Buck would have been in the 1960′s, not the 1940′s. .???

      • Dear Sharon–

        Nobody “sent” him back. He crashed near a circle of standing stones and walked through them by accident.


      • Actually Sharon, Roger and Buck left the 1980′s not the 1960′s. You forget that Roger and Bree were in the 1760-70′s for several years so when they came back through the stones it was the late 1970′s early 1980′s. It was Roger and Buck who went back to rescue Jemmy who they thought had been forced through the stones again. Apparently Roger and Buck went to the same time that Jerry accidentally went to and Roger recognized him and helped him get back to his own time, though too late.

        Hope this helps!

      • Thanks Terri. Can you tell me which books you are referring to?

      • I’m so lost……which book did Roger and Buck find Jerry Mac in? I love these books they are my favorite series of all time.

      • Dear Stephanie–

        It’s a novella, called “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows”. You can order it as a standalone (i.e., cheap [g]) ebook here. (Yes, it’s also available for Nook and Kobo–and you don’t need an e-reader to read it, if you don’t have one; there’s a free downloadable app for your computer or smartphone that will let you read it that way.)


      • Ooh, thanks so much for the info on “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows”. Now, I can read another new story, while waiting for #8! Kindle has it, BTW for only $1.99! That’s a deal, for sure. Also, I can’t help noticing that the readers of your books, Diana, are all very literate in their posts. Such a joy, considering what I read most of the time online.

      • not too late – Jerry saved wee Roger in the underground [g]. Where would we be if he hadn’t done that ;)

  4. Ok, that time stamp is a differnet time zone! It’s only 3 in the afternoon here, I swear!!

  5. Thank you again for the treat visiting my favorite fictional family. I look forward to next weeks installment.

  6. Awwwwwwww….”sniff.” that was lovely.
    Toby Neal

  7. Rejoice, indeed! Thank you for the early Christmas gift. I have great hopes for Ian and Rachel.

  8. Thank you, Diana. What a lovely gift to all of us. Just beautiful!

  9. But what happens to Jemmy? I don’t think I can handle the suspense for another year!

  10. Thank You for the lovely gifts to read each week.
    I have really enjoyed reading a peek into the next book.

    Merry Christmas to You & Your family !!!!!

    Susie O.

  11. Gracias Diana por hacernos sentir tus personajes.Espero con ansias el próximo libro, para los que leemos en español la espera es más larga pero releyendo los libros anteriores disfrutamos más el siguiente.FELIZ NAVIDAD para ti y los tuyos.


  12. Even these few brief words transport me to the world of “Outlander”. What a gift you are, Ms. G! Thank you SO much for these lovely, lyrical tales. Keep them coming

  13. I love the Outlander series. These excerpts are wonderful. I can’t wait for the official publish date for the next in the series so I can start re-reading the other books for the Nth time and be ready to start the new book when it’s out.

  14. Ms. G,
    I want to tell you how grateful I am that I can share the world you’ve created. You are amazingly generous! Over Thanksgiving, just last month, I met my 88 year old aunt for the first time (I’m 62!). We talked about things that were important to us, and she started telling me about Outlander, and Claire and Jamie, comparing her story to theirs (except the time travel, of course). We never met before, but we both shared your world! We had just one question: why do awful things always happen to Roger?
    Thank you very much! Toni Collins

  15. Beautiful, just beautiful…..I love your Outlander series and have just started An Echo in the Bone….You make me feel as if I know them all….Thank you for your wonderous story telling style. I am gripped from start to finish….

  16. I am so eager for the next book in this series I can hardly stand it. The books have provoked me into doing research into my family’s Campbell Clan history…..though not all of what I have learned is indeed something to be proud of, from a Scottish point of view, it was exciting to relate in a much more personal way to these books. How I will have to satisfy my craving for more Outlander by continuing my quest for knowledge as I practice patience awaiting the release of your new book.

  17. I absolutely love this series. I am completely addicted to all of your books. I am chomping at the bit for anything new to come out. My nook is loaded with your books, and I am getting ready to read this series again while I wait for MOHB/MOBY to come out. My husband and I spent out seventh wedding anniversary in Scotland a few years ago and it was wonderful to visit the sites in the books. I can’t wait to take my daughters to Scotland with us to do a full fledged Outlander tour.

  18. I can hardly wait for this one to be published. Wow just that little and once again I was enthraulled. Thank you for such greatr stuff.

  19. I first picked up An Echo in the Bones and admit I was a little confused at first and wondering about the previous books so when I finished it, I bought the rest and started at the beginning. I couldn’t wait to start the next after finishing each one. I eagerly await the next in line.

  20. These wee bits of the new book are wonderful and keep me going. cant wait for it to be released.


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