Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shrovetide



The reform of the liturgy after the Second Vatican Council dropped Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima Sundays from the calendar.  These had formerly marked the pre-Lenten period of Shrovetide.  As Ash Wednesday is almost upon us, we are nearly at the end of this discontinued liturgical season.  From his fifteen volume work, "The Liturgical Year", here is Dom Gu√©ranger, abbot of Solesmes from 1837-1875, on Shrovetide:

Let us now meditate on the doctrine hid under the symbols of her Liturgy. And first, let us listen to St. Augustine, who thus gives us the clue to the whole of our Season’s mysteries. “There are two times,” says the Holy Doctor: “one which is now, and is spent in the temptations and tribulations of this life; the other which shall be then, and shall be spent in eternal security and joy. In figure of these, we celebrate two periods: the time ‘before Easter’ and the time ‘after Easter.’ That which is ‘before Easter,’ signifies the sorrow of this present life; that which is ‘after Easter,’ the blessedness of our future state. * *  Hence it is, that we spend the first in fasting and prayer; and in the second, we give up our fasting, and give ourselves to praise.” [Enarrations; Psalm clviii.]

St. Augustine, pray for us.



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