Time to begin our preparation for Lent. A timely meditation.
Fr. Goffine’s meditation on Septuagesima Sunday:
Why is this Sunday called “Septuagesima”?
Because in accordance with the words of the First Council of Orleans, some pious Christian congregations in the earliest ages of the Church, especially the clergy, began to fast 70 days before Easter, on this Sunday, which was therefore called “Septuagesima”—the 70th day. The same is the case with the Sundays following, which are called Sexagesima, Quinquagesima, Quadragesima, because some Christians commenced to fast 60 days, others 50, others 40 days before Easter, until finally, to make it properly uniform, Popes Gregory and Gelasius arranged that all Christians should fast 40 days before Easter, commencing with Ash Wednesday.
Why, from this day until Easter, does the Church omit in her service all joyful canticles, alleluias, and the Gloria in excelsis, etc?
Gradually to prepare the minds of the faithful for the serious time…
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