Liturgy Lesson: Pre-Lent

Liturgy Lesson: Pre-Lent

The Pre-Lenten season is a period of about three weeks directly preceding Lent, extending from the last Sunday in Epiphany to the beginning of Lent itself. The early Church fathers designed this season as a transition time from the gaiety and celebration of our Lord’s nativity to the quieter, more focused time of examen and fasting in Lent. This time, marked by Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima count us back, in round numbers from the seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth days, respectively, before Easter and herald an excellent opportunity for us to begin review our spiritual lives in our Lord—what we are, and what He is calling us to be in His Body, the Church. Like our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem just prior to His crucifixion, it’s a time when we begin to prepare ourselves for our own Gethsemane in the wilderness of Lenten devotions and growth.

 

Collect for Sexagesima

O LORD God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Collect for Sexagesima, 1928 BCP, p.120)

 

Collect for a Blessing for Families

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families; We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vain-glory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh; turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we be evermore kindly affectioned with brotherly love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

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