The season of Septuagesima

From 1 Vespers on Saturday, 26 January this year, we enter the season of Septuagesima, or Shrovetide.

Septuagesima was abolished in the Ordinary Form calendar, and indeed isn't mentioned in St Benedict's Rule either, but it has a long history, dating back to the reforms of Pope Gregory the Great.

The original concept was to form something of a bridge between the joyful season of Christmastide (which covered the forty days up to February 2), and the penitential season of Lent.

The main liturgical feature of Septuagesima is that the alleluia is no longer used. Indeed, tonight at Vespers it is solemnly 'buried' with a double alleluia added to the  closing versicle to the hour.  Thereafter, it is replaced by 'Laus tibi Domine, Rex aeternae gloriae' in the opening prayers for each hour.

The liturgy also becomes a little more solemn with the addition of a Magnificat canticle proper to each day.

Commemoration of Our Lord's Baptism



This Sunday marks the final end of the Christmas (and Epiphany) season, with the Commemoration of Our Lord's Baptism.

For details of the feasts this week, and how to reflect them in the Office, please take a look at the Ordo for January.

Happy Christmas!