Septuagesima & Shrovetide: Preparing for Lent

Ash Wednesday will be here before we know it. Are you ready? No? Me neither! Thankfully we have a little more time. We are actually in the pre-Lenten preparation time traditionally known as Septuagesima or Shrovetide (depending on the tradition). I didn’t really know about the history of this period until our friend and local priest Fr. Matt Fish sent me some links. For those of you who are in the same boat, here are a few links that provide an overview and highlight traditions of this liturgical period.

I don’t know about you, but I always need time to prepare for each liturgical season. Lent is no exception. I really need a couple of weeks before Ash Wednesday to pray, eliminate distractions, and discern what God wants me to do during Lent. Without that time seeking God, Lent can easily become a self-improvement project. We can start to make a list of goals and plans for abstinences that have no connection to what God wants us to focus on during the upcoming 40 days.  Continue reading “Septuagesima & Shrovetide: Preparing for Lent”

Ending and Beginning the Liturgical Year Without Regrets

nov-dec-calendarThat time of year is about to be upon us — the stretch between Halloween and New Year’s that contains a lot of busyness in our society. Right in the middle of this busy time the liturgical Church year comes to an end, and the season of Advent begins a new one. It’s a season with a lot of holidays and feast days, and sometimes (more often than we may want to admit) we come to the end of it exhausted and full of regrets about being so busy and rushed and not having had the time to reflect and prepare ourselves for the Christmas season (which extends at least 3 weeks past Christmas day!).

How can things be different this year? How do we walk through this time of year and these Church seasons with restful and joyful hearts? I have a few thoughts. Continue reading “Ending and Beginning the Liturgical Year Without Regrets”