Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Question Time...

Ok, as a relative newbie to the Extraordinary Form (I've attended Mass for a while, but have only been following the EF Ordo since last Easter, or thereabouts) I've got a quick question.

I get the impression that Septuagesima is penitential, (heheheh) but in what way, exactly, is it different from Lent? I mean, Lent still starts on Ash Wednesday in the EF calendar, so presumably Lenten fasting etc. starts then too... so what are the penitential "practices" (if any) which happen at Septuagesima?

Just wondering...

5 comments:

Mark said...

From Wikipedia:

In the pre-1970 Roman Catholic liturgy, the Alleluia ceases to be said during the liturgy, effective at Compline on the Saturday before Septuagesima Sunday, not to be sung again until Easter.

Likewise, violet vestments are worn, except on feasts, from Septuagesima Sunday until Holy Thursday. As during Advent and Lent, the Gloria and Te Deum are no longer said on Sundays.

The readings at Matins for this week are the first few chapters of Genesis, telling of the creation of the world, of Adam and Eve, the fall of man and resulting expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and the story of Cain and Abel.

Paul said...

I'm no expert, but my (bookish) impression is that it mostly seems to be a period of liturgical abstinence to gear up for the physical challenges of Lent: purple vestments, no more "alleluias" in office or Mass until the end of Lent, and no Gloria on Sundays and ferias. A period of sober living, but not yet fasting as such.

Emitte said...

The best place to start off is Dom Prosper Gueranger's 'The Liturgical Year', which has a volume dedicated to Septuagesima. I can't remember a lot of it, as Paul has said, mostly a preparation for Lent. What I do recall is that in the few days of Quinquagesima before Ash Wednesday, he advises the reader/faithful soul to fast in reparation for the excesses of Carnival. I'll put his advice up on my blog when I get the chance. God bless!

Pastor in Valle said...

I tend to think of it as a sort of countdown to Lent; time to start making practical resolutions and getting up one's courage to implement them and hit the ground running on Ash Wednesday.

Mark said...

Guh; Mark got there first!

My understanding is that the main emphasis is in the liturgy, to visibly remind us to 'get ready' for Lent (i.e. so it doesn't come as a shock)!

Ironically, Septuagesima, etc., have been preserved in the Anglican Communion, well, certainly in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

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