Sunday, February 9, 2020

Septuagesima Sunday

          The first Sunday of the pre-Lent season is Septuagesima. This marks seventy days before the celebration of Easter, and as the first day of the season it offers certain insights common to the other days and weeks. 
          First, we notice that the church and her ministers are dressed in violet. This external sign reminds us that, in a certain sense, the Church has begun to “breath in,” in preparation for the great exultation of Easter. 
          That great shout of praise at the resurrection of the Lord, and his victory over sin and death—the litany of alleluias that mark the Paschal season—is thus cut short when, from after Evening Prayer on the eve of Septuagesima Sunday, the Church abstains from “Alleluia” and the Gloria in excelsis, replacing the chant before the Gospel with a Tract.

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