Septuagesima Sunday

 According to the traditional liturgical calendar (calendar of the Catholic Church) , there is a preparatory period before Lent. In other words, the Sunday 17 days before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, is called Septuagesima (meaning 70 in Latin) Sunday. By the way, the Sunday following Septuagesima Sunday is called Sexagesima (meaning 60 in Latin) Sunday , and the Sunday two weeks later is called Quinquagesima (meaning 50 in Latin) Sunday.

 The penitential character is expressed in this period, although the Lenten rules of fasting do not apply. For example, the liturgical color used for the vestments is the violet of penance, Gloria (Latin for glory) and Alleluia (transliteration of the Hebrew word for “Praise God”), which indicate joy, are not recited at Mass.

 In the current liturgical calendar, Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima have been abolished. I don’t intend to doubt the legality of the abolition. But I think this period of preparation is appropriate for three reasons. What do you think?

1 1,400 years tradition
 A preparatory period before Lent was already becoming established in the Roman liturgy in the time of Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604). In Japanese history , it is the same time of Prince Shotoku. This is of great antiquity.  As long as it is not a custom that goes against praising God, I think it should be carefully observed.

2 Ecumenical custom
 The Eastern rite also has a period of preparation before Lent.  Originally, the custom of the period of preparation before Lent came from the Orthodox Church to the Roman liturgy. From an ecumenical point of view, it makes sense to cherish the preparation period.

3 Practical reason
 The Lenten fasting rule is not easy, although it is necessary to realize human powerlessness and celebrate the joy of Easter. I believe that anticipating the removal of joyful elements from the Mass during the period of preparation has practical benefits in preparing the mind and body for Lent.