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Posts Tagged ‘lent’

Pope Benedict XVI in rose vestments on Laetare Sunday, 26 March 2006

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Laetare Sunday – The fourth, or middle, Sunday of Lent, so called from the first words of the Introit at Mass, “Laetare Jerusalem” — “Rejoice, O Jerusalem”. During the first six or seven centuries the season of Lent commenced on the Sunday following Quinquagesima, and thus comprised only thirty-six fasting days. To these were afterwards added the four days preceding the first Sunday, in order to make up the forty days’ fast, and one of the earliest liturgical notices of these extra days occurs in the special Gospels assigned to them in a Toulon manuscript of 714.

Strictly speaking, the Thursday before Laetare Sunday is the middle day of Lent, and it was at one time observed as such, but afterwards the special signs of joy permitted on this day, intended to encourage the faithful in their course through the season of penance, were transferred to the Sunday following. They consist of (like those of Gaudete Sunday in Advent) in the use of flowers on the altar, and of the organ at Mass and Vespers; rose-coloured vestments also allowed instead of purple, and the deacon and subdeacon wear dalmatics, instead of folded chasubles as on the other Sundays of Lent. The contrast between Laetare and the other Sundays is thus emphasized, and is emblematical of the joys of this life, restrained rejoicing mingled with a certain amount of sadness.

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“It’s fun! It’s free! It’s easy for your mom, hey!”

And it’s not a surprise that there’s a Dominican involved!

Hat tip to Patrick Madrid

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Thanks to the Microwife, here’s a great post about Lent from blogress Sister Mary Martha. She wrote it in 2007:

Plans for Lent

First, don’t go berserk because it’s about to be Lent and gorge yourself on things you are about to give up. New Orleans may need the tourist trade these days, but you don’t need the girls gone wild. Or all those beads.

Second, think very carefully about what you are going to give up for Lent. The things people give up for Lent is a singular pet peeve of mine.

If you want to lose weight or quit smoking, do it on your own time. Lent isn’t about looking better in your jeans or avoiding emphysema, although we wish you the best on both those counts.

Lent is about giving up something that will be a daily reminder of the fact that it’s Lent. Then while you’re thinking about the fact that it’s Lent, maybe you’ll remember what Lent is all about.

There’s much wisdom in Sister Mary Martha’s words. See the whole thing here.

Any blog with the subheading of “Life is tough. But Nuns are tougher.” is worth a read.

The good sister’s 2009 thoughts are here.

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