February 9/10: Quinquagesima Sunday and the Office after Ash Wednesday


This week sees the start of Lent (on Ash Wednesday), and a curious period in the Office before Lent is fully reflected in the liturgy of the Divine Office.


This period was something of a later add-on to Lent to make up the correct number of days (given that Sundays are not counted for fasting and other purposes).  Even so, in reality we still don't quite make it to forty days, due to the several first class feasts that normally intervene (this year St Patrick in many places, St Joseph and St Benedict).

The liturgy does intensify, with canticle antiphons for both Lauds and Vespers, but the rest of the Office at Lauds to Vespers remains that of 'throughout the year'.

From Wednesday onwards, all prayers at the end of each hour are said kneeling.

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