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Sunday before Lent

The Sunday called Quinquagesima
the Sunday before Lent



Coming Feasts and Fasts
This Sunday is the last before the start of Lent  on Ash Wednesday. This coming Tuesday, some will celebrate Shrove Tuesday with a pancake meal, others may enter into earnest prayer and confession in preparation for the Lent. For festivals, well Mardi Gras in New Orleans and other cities comes to mind, and in some places "carnivals" . The word carnival comes from two words in Latin... meaning farewell to meat ("Carni" as in carnivorous, and "vale" as in valediction) - as meat and dairy items were among those foods Christians abstained from during the Fast.
The solemnity of the day before Lent has been replaced by many with hedonism and revelry. It brings to mind how many of our most sacred rituals are often marginalized.  In thinking on that, and in preparation for the coming Lent, I encourage all to read this article from Touchstone: Rites and Wrongs of Passage . Those who have served in the military will especially appreciate the author's observations concerning military funeral rites.  I also encourage you to join with other Christians on Ash Wednesday for a solemn beginning of the Great Fast. If that is not possible, please consider using the Ash Wednesday Propers and Penitential Office on our site in your private devotion.
Our collect, epistle, and homily of Chrysostom for this day reminds us that God's most earnest desire is that a solemn fast be one from the bands that inhibit us: predjudice, hatred, injustice, and oppression, to be replaced with justice, charity, compassion, and freedom. [ Is 58] May it be so this season.

O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth; Send thy Holy Ghost, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

Quinquagesima is about 50 days before Easter. Source, Bishop Thomas Cranmer [1549]. Reflects 1 Cor 13 on Charity.
Thou son of David, have mercy on me

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