High Mass on February 5, 2012

Our next Tridentine Mass will be on February 5th at 4:00 PM with 3:30 confessions. We will be celebrating Septuagesima Sunday.

Here is an excerpt of an article on Septuagesima Sunday:

The Origins and Purpose of Pre-Lent

With regard to the origins of the pre-Lenten period, many liturgical writers attribute the beginnings of pre-Lent to the desire to accomplish the 40 days fast -- since there were non-fast days within the weeks of Lent proper which accordingly did not amount to 40 days of fasting. Through piety and devotion, this was extended further still. The specific time of origin is not agreed upon, but various dates surrounding the time of St. Gregory the Great in the 6th and 7th centuries are noted in various respects -- with the devotional extension of the fast being mentioned even earlier. According to Duchesne, the fourth Council of Orleans mentions Quinqagesima and Sexagesima around A.D. 541 -- albeit it by way of disapproval.

The purpose of pre-Lent seems to be the same in both the Byzantine East and more ancient form of the Roman rite; it is a period of progressive preparation and movement toward Lent and ultimately Easter.

Fr. Weiser, in his Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs speaks of it accordingly:
The liturgical preparation for the greatest feast of Christianity -- Easter -- proceeds in five periods of penitential character. As the observance of this preparation apporaches the feast, the penitential note grows progressively deeper and stricter. The first period of this season of pre-Lent, from Septuagesima Sunday to Ash Wednesday; the second extends from Ash Wednesday to Passion Sunday; the third comprises Passion Week; the fourth includes the days of Holy Week up to Wednesday; the fifth consists in the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.) In these three days, which are devoted entirely to the commemoration of the Lord's Passion, the penitential observance reaches its peak, until it ends (at the Easter Vigil) in the glorious and joyful celebration of the Resurrection. (p. 154-5)
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