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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. Thank you Diana, for giving us Jamie and Claire and all those who make up their lives together.
    It is with a hungry heart I wait for the next book, knowing that my winter will be enjoyed all the more as I begin Written In My Own Heart’s Blood. God bless you and your family.

  2. Gracias por esta maravillosa saga. Han sido el séptimo cielo para los sentmientos..Espero con ansiedad el próximo, espero que los españoles no tengamos que esperar demasiado
    Diama mis mejorees deseos para ti y tus seres queridos. Estoy muy agradecida.

  3. I want more. I can’t wait until the book comes out.

  4. I, too, cannot wait until fall. I consider the Outlander series my favorite of all time. I have gotten many people hooked on the series. My dream is to go to Scotland one day. Thank you Diana. I just left my religious community and relish the bit of extra time I have to reread the series. I don’t know how many times I have read each of the books.

  5. Every now and then, I step away from your blog for news by Clarie,James and other protagonists of this fantastic series . Tonight I have read of Jan and Rachel,so sweet and moving. Please Diana do not make us wait too for the next book. For me you are the best ever.

  6. I just finished the 7th book Echo, I now feel down . :-(
    I have learned so much about the Scots history and traditions from you as well as Early American istory and customs. Thank You Diana
    Cant wait untill the fall!

  7. Oh one more thing Diana, please dont let enything bad happen to Rollo :-)

  8. It’s so wonderful to hear these characters again! The only problem with your books is that they come to an end! ! I’m eagerly anticipating the next one…can I make it until Fall?

    • Hola Diana! por favor no podrían traducir al castellano el avance de la conversación entre Ian y Raquel, no me hallo capacitada para hacer la trasducción. Muchas gracias.

    • Like the rest, I am waiting with anticapation for the next book. Since my husband has trouble with his eyes, reading is hard for him. I decided to start with Outlander and check the audio books out of the library. We listen to one disk each evening instead of watching tv. We are ready to start Dragonfly in Amber, so at the rate we are going, we will be ready for IMOHB. He is your newest fan.

  9. I’m just finishing L’écho des coeurs lointains, tome 2, the French version of An Echo in the Bone. I read all the books in French and I have to say the translation is excellent. Hats off to your translator, Philippe Safavi. When can we expect the French translation of the next book?

    • Dear Manon–

      I’m delighted to hear that the translation is so good! I’m afraid I have no idea when the French translation will be ready, save that it will (naturally) be sometime after I finish writing the book in English–which will be this year, but probably toward the end of the year. [wry g]


      • Y en castellano,cuando? En España, también somos muchos los seguidores de la saga.

      • No hay alguien que pueda traducirme el avance de Iann y Raquel?

      • Si gusta mandarme su email puedo intentar traducir lo. No prometo que sea perfecto pero lo puedo intentar. Akirech27@aol.com

      • Dear E.–

        ¿Por qué necesito mi correo electrónico a traducir? Pero, gracias!


      • I’m sorry Diana,

        I meant to reply to M. Elena, she has been asking if anyone could translate the excerpt since she could not understand it. I said I could try to translate it for her , that I did not promise it would be perfect but I could try and if so if she could send me her email.

        I only meant to help out a fellow fan of your work, I hope this is ok?

      • Dear E–

        Oh, I see! Thank you, I didn’t understand what you meant. [g] By all means, if you’d like to do that for Elena, I think that’s fine, and very kind of you!


  10. Dear Diana,
    My mother and I both love your books. She has been waiting for this next one.
    Her health has deteriorated and she is very ill. What is keeping her going is your next book.
    She keeps asking me when it will be out. I will be placing the very first preorder I can for her.

    Thank you for your gift and what you do for others!
    Dawn and JoAnne

    • Dear Dawn and JoAnne–

      Thanks very much! I hope you’ll both enjoy the new book when it’s done. In the meantime, my best to your mother and I hope she feels better soon!


  11. I just finished the 7th book and could not stand it. I came to the website to see if there is a release date for the 8th and got such a surprise!!! At least I have a little to hold me over until the Fall! These books are amazing, I have so enjoyed reading each and one and just can not wait for the next!!!

  12. Hi Dianna and other fans,

    I notice little comment from male readers so I thought it was time to add my thoughts.

    I am a big reader of women writers and have followed many over my life of reading.

    Jean Auel which was disappointing from about book three.

    Sara Donati which was brilliant and incorporated a little bit of the “white witch and Jamie” and so sad when all the “Wilderness” characters were gone in the last book.

    And this ” Outlander” series, which is such a brilliant read.

    I can’t wait for the next book and can only thank you for the continued writing excellence and excitement that this series has given me.

    Like many readers I have read and re read your books until the characters are like old friends.

    I would like to thank my wife for putting the writings of Sara Donati and you into my library.

    Thank you so much.

  13. I’m hooked, can’t stop reading these books. Written In My Own Heart’s Blood won’t be published soon enough!

  14. Eagerly anticipating the next book. You are my absolute favorite author, and your characters come alive for your readers. I’ve read the other books two or three times, and will read them again. I thank my Aunt Pat ( who now has dementia) for introducing me to Jamie and Claire 20 years ago. Best series I’ve ever read and I recommend it to readers who also love it. Thank you for the sneak peek!

  15. I was so depressed when I finished the last book not to see another one waiting for me. It will be hard waiting for the fall for the next installment. I guess I’ll do what everyone else has been doing…start over again.

  16. I just love this series and I can not wait for the next one to come out! Thank you Dianna for writing such an entertaining and well written series. I read all the time and a little of everything but these books are my favorite!

  17. Thank you for the excerpt. I too am enamored with these books and look forward to book #8. I’m so enamored that I’m finally getting to take a trip to Scotland, something I’ve been wanting to do since I was a teenager. Thank you for making me realize my dream.

  18. I also love the outlander series so much!! My favorite books of all time. I actually took a trip to Scotland last summer and visited some of the places mentioned in the book. It is so beautiful there and so rugged. When I looked up into those mountains and valleys I could imagine Jamie and the rest of the Highlanders hiding out from the redcoats. The most poignant place I visited was the battlefield at Culloden.
    Thank You Diana for your wonderful books and I can’t wait for number 8. I only wish there was Outlander the movie or mini series.

  19. Amazon just posted a “Question of the day” for their Facebook followers, asking folks to name their favorite book series of all time. You would be SO pleased to see how many times DIANA GABALDON, OUTLANDER SERIES! showed up in the comments I read. (Most of the time in all caps, as if we just can’t contain ourselves.) I will continue waiting patiently for the eighth…. It is not easy, but it is always, ALWAYS worth the wait. Thanks for the excerpt. I am especially fond of Ian and Rachel.

  20. I just finished the seventh novel of the Outlanders series. I can hardly wait for the eighth one.

    I was a little disappointed in the last book. Where was the humor and the tears? \

    Please don’t abandon the original people after all they were the heart and soul of the whole series. Jamie, Claire, Brenna, Roger, Jemmy, Young Ian, Fergus, Marisali, Lord John Grey and Jenny are the heart of the series. Please don’t leave them behind.

    The first six of your books made me laugh and cry and the same time. You have a knack for humor like no other.
    What would be great is them all ending up together. I’m a fan of the happy ending.

    Have you given any thought to Jamie going to the future? It would be hilarious and a rare chance for Brianna to show her dad things she had described to him. Maybe you would think it would be too gratuitous.

    • Dear Belinda–

      Where was the humor and the tears? Errr….you want page numbers?

      Tears? Ian’s _death_, maybe? (Sheesh….as my late father used to say)

      And what on _earth_ do you mean by “Please don’t abandon the original people…Jamie, Claire, Brianna (not Brenna), Roger, Jemmy, Young Ian, Fergus, Marsali (not Marisali), Lord John Grey and Jenny…”? Ummm…who the heck do you thing AN ECHO IN THE BONE was ABOUT, for heavens’ sake, if not exactly those people?

      Possibly you were reading a book by someone else, and _thought_ it was AN ECHO IN THE BONE?




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