Today marks the beginning of the season of Septuagesima. From the Latin meaning seventy the Church has traditionally used this time as a liturgical preparation for Lent, effecting a transition from the joyful sentiments of Christmas to the somber penitential season of Lent. The next three Sundays are respectively called Septuagesima (70), Sexagesima (60), and Quinquagesima (50), and are so named because in the early days of Christianity many communities began the Lenten fast fifty, sixty, or seventy days before Easter in order not to have to fast every day of the forty. Violet is worn on Sundays, the Gloria omitted, and the joyful Alleluia will not be heard at any Mass until the Easter Vigil. This is a good period for us all to reflect on our spiritual progress since last Easter and, in turn, begin consideration of a suitable penance for Lent.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Explanation of Septuagesima from our parish's Sunday bulletin: