Pre Lent

So I know that we’re now 3 days into Lent (unless you’re an Easterner, in which case it’s been 5 days now), but here are some pre-Lenten things that could help with reflection this season.

In the old Roman calendar, Quinquagesima Sunday, meaning 50 days before Easter, is the last pre Lenten feast day of the old calendar. The week before was Sexagesima, and the week before was Septuagesima. They were all considered feast days back then (there wasn’t an “Ordinary Time” until 40-ish years ago) and the Collect prayers during the Masses were the following:

Septuagesima: We beseech You, O Lord, graciously to hark
to the prayers of Your people: so that we who are justly afflicted for our sins, may mercifully be freed for the glory of Your Name.

Sexagesima: O God, You who perceive that we trust in no action of our own: propitiously grant; that we may be fortified against every adverse thing by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles*
*St. Paul

Quinquagesima: We beseech You, O Lord, graciously attend to our prayers: and, having been loosed from the fetters of sins, guard us from every adversity.

These prayers are no where to be found in the new calendar (as far as I know), but for almost 2000 years, Holy Mother Church has found that the worst spiritual attacks occur during the greatest of the penitential seasons, and so she has prepared us with these prayers in order so that we may prepare for battle.

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