Friday, February 25, 2011

Septuagesima: "Pre-Lent"

As I am writing this post, the Traditional Roman Calendar is in a period called Septuagesima, which is Latin for "70 days" before Easter. Last Sunday, Feb. 20th, was Septuagesima Sunday, or approximately the Sunday closest to the 70th day before Easter. This Sunday the 27th will be known as Sextuagesima, or approximately "60 days" before Easter. The following Sunday, March 6th, will be Quintuagesima, for approximately "50 days" before Easter.

And finally, Lent will begin with Ash Wednesday, March 9, 2011 this year, which begins the Lenten Fast and Absentence from MEAT EVERYDAY until Jesus is risen from the tomb. This is 40 days before Easter.

The three weeks before Ash Wednesday are Pre-Lent because they gradually introduce the Lenten discipline of faith, hope, charity, and almsgiving. Violet vestments are worn, and there are no flowers on the altar. The is no "A-word" before the Gospel. No Gloria (expect class I or II feasts). In some cases, the organ is not played.

These are the traditional practices for preparing for Lent, which have been surpressed in the Novus Ordo Church. This Sunday they will be wearing Green vestements and have a pep-rally inside the sanctuary (if you can call it that!). And for the no Meat during Lent, they only have to Absentain on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and Fast on all Fridays. During the year they eat meat on Fridays!


When Ash Wednesday comes around, we traditionalists are well-prepared. We know the temporal and corpal nature of this season. I hope that this Lent that I get my Catholic girl as my Easter present, who loves the Holy Catholic Church and the USA within the depths of her heart.

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