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Denver, Colo., Feb 17, 2019 / 04:21 am (CNA).- Sunday, Feb. 17 is Septuagesima Sunday, followed by Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays. Sunday kicks off Carnival season, which comes right before Shrovetide, which culminates in Shrove Tuesday - more popularly known as Mardi Gras.
If all but the last of those holidays sounds foreign to you, you are likely not alone - they haven’t been officially a part of the Roman Rite’s liturgical calendar since the 1960s, after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
Days - Period - Preparation - Feasting - Rites
These strange-sounding days once marked a period of pre-Lenten preparation and feasting that is still observed by some rites within the Catholic Church and other Christian traditions.
“Septuagesima is kept in the personal ordinariates established by Pope Benedict XVI for former Anglicans, now within the full communion of the Catholic Church,” said Father James Bradley, a priest from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom.
Septuagesima - Anglican - Prayer - Books - Part
“Septuagesima is still marked in the older Anglican prayer books, and is part of the Anglican patrimony preserved by Divine Worship: The Missal, used by the ordinariates,” Bradley told CNA.
Septuagesima is the ninth Sunday before Easter, or the third Sunday before Lent. The name comes from the Latin word for seventieth, since the Sunday falls roughly within 70 days of Easter Sunday. The succeeding Sundays are also named for their distance from Easter: Sexagesima (60), Quinquagesima (50). Quadragesima Sunday (40) is the first official Sunday of Lent.
Septuagesima - Sunday - Years - Captivity
Septuagesima Sunday is also symbolic of the 70 years of Babylonian captivity.
“Whilst Lent mirrors the 40-year exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, to freedom in the Promised Land, Septuagesima mirrors the 70 years of the Babylonian captivity. Both lead from captivity to freedom, and so also point to salvation won for us by Christ: freedom from slavery to the Promised...
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