Septuagesima and getting ready for Lent


#1

I think its Septuagesima Sunday tomorrow. Its not in the new revised General Calendar, I know. But some will remember it and some will still keep it.

Do you?

One thing I think about it is a reminder to get ready for a good lent, it reminds us to prepare to keep Lent. But then I think to myself isn't Lent about preparing for Easter - so the danger is we prepare to prepare!

Godric

Cross Dressing Saints?


#2

I found this after a search on Catholic Answers:

What is Quinquagesima Sunday?


What is Quinquagesima Sunday?
Answer
According to the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia, it marks the start of the 50 days before Easter, starting the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. Quinquagesima means "fiftieth" in Latin. The holy day was part of a pre-Lenten "countdown" to Easter that also included Septuagesima ("Seventieth") Sunday and Sexagesima ("Sixtieth") Sunday. When the liturgical calendar was revised after Vatican II, this pre-Lenten season was eliminated in order to focus more on the Lenten season itself.


Answered by: Catholic Answers Staff


#3

We celebrate the old Ordo. So tomorrow is, indeed Septuagessima. Just love the FSSP.


#4

According to the definition posted it is the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, so wouldn't that be Feb10th? Ash Wednesday is the 13th this year.

Needless to say, no we don't observe those days. What does one do?


#5

[quote="corsair, post:3, topic:312712"]
We celebrate the old Ordo. So tomorrow is, indeed Septuagessima. Just love the FSSP.

[/quote]

Our former FSSP priest used to explain in the bulletin about Septuagessima, and the "pre-Lent" season urging both the EF Mass crowd and OF Mass crowd to observe it.


#6

I've been observing Septuagesima for the last two years. I love how it's a little Liturgical season to gently transition us into Lent. The Mass readings are very stirring- gets me all excited about Lent, helps me to decide my penances, and then when Lent arrives I am prepared. Last year I read St. Thomas Aquinas' Meditations for Lent, which includes Septuagesima. This book is fantastic.


#7

I've decided to start using this season to "ease" myself in to Lent's more penitential season as well. How many people want a "more fruitful Lent" but try to do everything at once. Slow and steady wins the race.


#8

Good point. It’s important to remember that the pre-Vatican II Lenten fast was quite severe. Septuagesima helped to ease the faithful into it. I’m glad that the Lenten fast isn’t quite so rigorous and allows us to choose our penances, but I still think it’s wise to use Septuagesima as a launching pad into Lent. Hope you have a fruitful and blessed Lent.:smiley:


#9

[quote="prayerandstudy, post:2, topic:312712"]
I found this after a search on Catholic Answers:

What is Quinquagesima Sunday?


What is Quinquagesima Sunday?
Answer
According to the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia, it marks the start of the 50 days before Easter, starting the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. Quinquagesima means "fiftieth" in Latin. The holy day was part of a pre-Lenten "countdown" to Easter that also included Septuagesima ("Seventieth") Sunday and Sexagesima ("Sixtieth") Sunday. When the liturgical calendar was revised after Vatican II, this pre-Lenten season was eliminated in order to focus more on the Lenten season itself.


Answered by: Catholic Answers Staff

[/quote]

This took me back to my Sunday School days, in the 60s, in the Anglican Church - I'd forgotten until I read this post.

We used to get a little book at the beginning of each year, each page had 4 empty rectangles on it and our teacher had lovely stamps to go in these, for each Sunday that you were in Sunday School. The stamps were named for the Sundays of the year, I well remember seeing the strangeness of the words: Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima - long before I studied Latin as a school subject.

Talk about shaking a memory out of the dim recesses :D

I like the idea of getting ready for Lent ahead of time, a chance to practise the disciplines you want to introduce - I'll be doing this too.


#10

I’m a Vatican II Catholic… (meaning, I was born after the changes following VII). But, after having gone to the TLM, i find myself really appreciating pre-VII Catholic Identity/Spirituality.

What were the Lenten requirements pre-Vatican II? I already knew about the no meat on Fridays throughout the year, but I don’t know what was different as far as Lenten requirements. Also, were there also fasting/abstinence requirements from Septuagesima onwards?


#11

[quote="AdDeum, post:10, topic:312712"]
What were the Lenten requirements pre-Vatican II? I already knew about the no meat on Fridays throughout the year, but I don't know what was different as far as Lenten requirements.

[/quote]

In brief, the basic principle of the Lenten fast in the Latin Church was one full meal + 2 smaller meals which together do not equal a full mean on all weekdays. Fridays (and IIRC, Wednesdays) were also days of full abstinence (no meat), while the other weekdays were partial abstinence (meaning one meal could contain meat). I recall that the old church calendars often had a fish under the date as a guide: a fully-filled fish meant full abstinence, while a half-filled fish meant partial abstinence.

[quote="AdDeum, post:10, topic:312712"]
Also, were there also fasting/abstinence requirements from Septuagesima onwards?

[/quote]

No. It began with Ash Wednesday.


#12

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:7, topic:312712"]
I've decided to start using this season to "ease" myself in to Lent's more penitential season as well. How many people want a "more fruitful Lent" but try to do everything at once. Slow and steady wins the race.

[/quote]

I find that observing this time -- or at least acknowledging it -- keeps me from the all-too-human tendancy to over-do all the things I plan to "give up" during Lent. Even as an adult, I am sometimes like the third grader deciding to eat every single bit of chocolate they can get their hands on before Lent begins and they "have" to give it up! :o


#13

We attend the TLM, and yes, the readings are very much a preparatory for Lent. I like Septuagesima, and the following pre-Lenten Sundays, for that reason. It gets my head into Lent before it arrives - it is a mental and spiritual transition that something important is coming, and it's time to get ready.

~Liza


#14

[quote="Godric2, post:1, topic:312712"]
I think its Septuagesima Sunday tomorrow. Its not in the new revised General Calendar, I know. But some will remember it and some will still keep it.

Do you?

[/quote]

Yes--even if I'm not quite "officially" involved with the older calendar just yet in public, I have older books for prayer that have certain changes for this little season.

Other than that, I don't have any special practices concerning pre-Lent per se, but there are certain things that occur around this time, like a novena (for the Holy Face) that happens to begin on the old Sexagesima Sunday (to end on the Monday before Ash Wednesday).

One thing I think about it is a reminder to get ready for a good lent, it reminds us to prepare to keep Lent. But then I think to myself isn't Lent about preparing for Easter - so the danger is we prepare to prepare!

I've heard the occasional pooh-poohing of Septuagesima based on something similar, but I've never seen much overall danger in preparing to prepare (nor do I see a realistic danger of some indefinite regress of preparatory periods).

For more people nowadays, anyway, a bigger danger is failing to prepare at all. :p


#15

[quote="Granum_Frumenti, post:14, topic:312712"]
Yes--even if I'm not quite "officially" involved with the older calendar just yet in public, I have older books for prayer that have certain changes for this little season.

Other than that, I don't have any special practices concerning pre-Lent per se, but there are certain things that occur around this time, like a novena (for the Holy Face) that happens to begin on the old Sexagesima Sunday (to end on the Monday before Ash Wednesday).

I've heard the occasional pooh-poohing of Septuagesima based on something similar, but I've never seen much overall danger in preparing to prepare (nor do I see a realistic danger of some indefinite regress of preparatory periods).

For more people nowadays, anyway, a bigger danger is failing to prepare at all. :p

[/quote]

I'm under the care of a good and holy spiritual director (FSSP), so I'm not worried about "over-doing Lent". I was actually reading a document by Pope Paul VI regarding the "lightening up" of the Lenten fast. It wasn't lightened up to make things more light, but rather it was thought that Catholics out of devoutness and love of God would continue to observe the old Lenten fast on their own rather than under fear of sinning if they didn't. This was the ideology behind a lot of the "lightening up" that occurred after Vatican II.


#16

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