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    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

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. I am reading the series “Outlanders” and are thoroughly enjoying them. I cannot wait to be able to purchase a copy of the book Written in my own blood as the last book Echo in the Bone has left me wondering re James and Claire and whether they will find each other again which I am sure they will. Wonderful stories . Once I start reading them I cannot put them down.

  2. I love the outlander series and have read them over so many times that I have lost count as to the actually number of times I have read them – never has any book held my interest so much that I have actually read them a second time. I have now read the last book “echo in the bone” over for the third time and the cliffhangers were killing me – haha. Imagine my joy at finding these excerpts from the new book. Not only have they answered some of the cliffhangers that were bothering me so much but have actually made me wish time was go a little faster so that I could finally read the entire book. I am a true fan of all your writings about this series including all of the ones about Lord John Grey – I find him very interesting and loved that you have seem to enjoy that character also since you have written so much about him. Of course, Jamie will always be my favorite of all…..my red headed hero…….

  3. Loved the books i just finish An Echo in the Bones, left me open mouthed and itching to know what happens next. Though i can’t wait for My Own Heart’s Blood to come out, i do believe that you should take your time on it. Until you feel that its ready to be published and ready to be read by your viewers…

  4. I have tears in my eyes….I sooo LOVE this series…..I can barely wait for the next one.

  5. When is it coming?! When when when, I have am empty hole where Jamie should be!!! <3 this series with a passion.

  6. My daughter hides my books from the Outlander series…she is NOT a fan of my attention being taken away from her for the extended periods of time required to read, re-read, re-read and then spot read all my favorite snippets. If I had a dollar for everytime she has opened a door to find me sobbing with one of Diana’s books in my hand, we could afford a trip to Scotland! This won’t happen for us, but I have been blessed with these endearing characters finding their way into my dreams! I have awoken many mornings heart racing and calling out.. ” Look out Jamie!” If I could have one wish it would be that I could have been a sister to Diana and been privy to all her story telling since childhood. Man, I’ll bet she had some whoppers! How awesome would that have been?? I love all 4 of my brothers, but…..I’d trade my childhood of good natured torture and teasing in a NY minute.

    • I just now realize that my comment makes me out to be a horrible mom hiding from her daughter! I feel pressed to attempt a brief explanation to ease my mommy guilt. My daughter is 17 and wants very little or nothing to do with me most days. Surviving adolescence requires a warrior attitude and I look to this Outlander series for tips on being the warrior I need to be as well as the escapism necessary to endure it.

  7. We are waiting with my mother that we get hold of the new book and immerse ourselves in the world of Fraser.
    This is the best therapy for a busy life.
    Thank you!!!

  8. I have read and reread all 7 books at least 10 times. Each and every time I am so immersed in the story that I feel as if I am watching (and living) the story myself. I always find passages and parts that I did not truly appreciate the first through every time around. My father started me on this series – years ago. I had been able to get him a copy of “An Echo in the Bone” that he was able to finish reading before he was incapable. I was reading “A Fiery Cross” when he passed. My father traced our family history back to the Stuarts which made our interest, I think just a little more, as we are so far removed but still query our history. I didn’t know at the time, but my father would often refer to my (then) baby daughter as “Spalpeen” (forgive me for the spelling as I cannot find the page reference this moment) but with affection much as you use “Sassenach” . I look forward to your newest book! Thank you for the wonderful entertainment and the lasting memories!
    Robin Hutt

    • Dear Robin–

      I’m so sorry that your father’s no longer with you–but really glad that you were able to share and enjoy the books together. [smile]


  9. Can’t wait for this book! I have missed them so much! Outlander was the first book that made me bawl at the end :) These are truly my favorite books and I tell everyone I know about them :) These books are the reason I love being a book worm :)

  10. Thank You Diana for such amazing books. I love all the characters and after reading the last book, feel like they are ‘family’. I can hardly wait til next August …

    I lived in Scotland on a US military base. I have been to many of the places you mention in the books. My husband was born at Bridge of Allan, at Sterling Castle in Sterlingshire. Its where they sent the English Army wives to have their babies during the war in 1942. It is now a college. Brought back lots of great memories as well. Also I’ve been to Edenton, NC

    I love history – these were amazing stories…
    Again Thank You

  11. Hi Diana;

    I’ve been reading your “Outlander’ series for years and I just totally adore them. Can’t wait for the next installment either!
    Thank you so much for sharing that piece from the new book with us. It is so moving and beautiful. It’s just perfect!
    Anyone who loves books and reading as much as I do, I will always tell them about your series and talk them into reading the first book! I’ve gotten quite a few people started on them that way!
    So thanks once again for all you’ve done and all you’ve yet to do!!

    Take care,
    Nanci ;-)
    P.S. Another reason they are so interesting is that my husband and I have been living since 2006 in New Bern, N.C.!

  12. I can’t decide if it would be better to have just discovered your books, and so have 7 stories to devour all at once, or to have savoured them one at a time, as published (which is what I have done). It’s the “Hallowe’en candy” conundrum!

    I have enjoyed this series immensely!

    Of course, Claire is living my dream (no, not just the “Jamie” part!) -the chance to go back in time. I am deeply immersed in uncovering my family’s history, going back through the 1600′s in Scotland. It has long been my desire to “meet” my ancestors, and with your novels, it seems I can! Thank you!

  13. Добрый день,Диана!
    Я живу совсем в другой части планеты- в России, но мне очень интересны Ваши книги.
    Любовь это вечная тема, а любовь с преградами-она завораживает. Понятные доступные выражения и фразы еще больше привязывают к прочтению книг.
    Постоянно мысленно ассоциируешь себя с Клэр, с радостью находишь много общего.
    Спасибо за замечательное произведение и удачи!

    Google translation:

    Good afternoon, Diana!

    I live in a completely different part of the planet, in Russia, but your books are very interesting to me.

    Love is an eternal topic, and love with barriers, it is fascinating. Clear accessible expressions and phrases are even more attached to reading books.
    Constantly mentally associating yourself with Claire, with joy you find a lot in common.

    Thank you for the wonderful work and good luck!

  14. My mom got me hooked on this series about 10 years ago and the books were an escape for me as at that time my son, who was in his mid-teen, was going thru many cancer treatments and these books helped while away the many hours I spent in assorted waiting rooms. It got so each trip we had to make to the KY hospital (we live in IL) for his treatments my son would ask “how many pages does this book have?” Son is doing well.

    I am very worried about little Jemmy what with Roger going back thru time to find him when Jemmy may not go back in time at all, and then Roger and Brianna will be stuck in two different times wondering what is happening to the other. If Jemmy does not go back how will Roger know so he can come back to the future??? And if Jemmy does go back in time how will Brianna know that Roger and Jemmy will end up in the same place to find each other and return to the present?

    Can’t wait for the next book but will have to re-read Echo to refresh myself.

  15. Diana,
    I have just finished reading the complete series, to date, for the second time and loved is just as much as the first time around!! Can’t wait to read this new book your characters have such vitality!! So excited to see the TV series. I always thought the books would be perfect for a series or movies.


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