Sunday, 17 February 2019


Today is Septuagesima Sunday, the "pre-Lent" season, banished within the Novus Ordo world. As a Cantor for the Novus Ordo I would check the "Ordo" frequently of course and found it humourous that on the three Sundays prior to Lent, the priest was encouraged to remind the faithful that Lent was coming. How silly. It was to be abolished! Yet, it was if it was screaming to be known.

With today, or last night's Vespers to be accurate, the Time After Epiphany has left us, a long one this year, short by one Sunday of as long as it could be. The colour is Violet, the Gloria is gone (except on certain feasts), the Alleluia is no more, substituted with the Tract. It is a time of preparation and contemplation for the real season of preparation for Easter. Another unnecessary loss for those stuck in Ordinary Time, as if the Church seasons could ever by, "Ordinary."

It is time to get what is left of that Christmas cake and candy and chocolate eaten up. It is time to prepare for Lent.

If we resolve to keep Lent as strictly as we can, we have the right to enjoy ourselves for the next couple of weeks.
Like it or not, Christmas has left us. In the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite we must make do with the first bout of Ordinary Time (a name Benedict XVI confessed to not liking). In the Extraordinary Form and the ex-Anglican Ordinariates, this season continues to bear its hallowed name of “Time after Epiphany”.
The following season is Septuagesima, which begins with the Sunday it takes its name from – February 17 in 2019. The name refers to “Seventy”, as in days till Easter. As a result, the two following Sundays are called Sexagesima and Quinquagesima, as in “Sixty” and “Fifty” (Lent in Latin is Quadragesima, hence the Spanish Cuaresma and French Carême). The two days after Quinquagesima Sunday – Lundi and Mardi Gras in French – lead inevitably into Ash Wednesday. Either way you cut it, we are in Pre-Lent.


Peter Lamb said...

More of the same please Vox. We desperately need re-education.

christine said...

Yes Vox. I second Peter Lamb's comment.

Kathleen1031 said...

I enjoyed reading this. The church isn't going to teach us anything except how rotten we are if we don't throw open the doors to the entire Third World.
This information is absolutely what we are interested in, how to be better Catholics.