Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Season of Septuagesima

Last year I posted Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima about the traditional forms of the current pre-Lent season, citing posts from the New Liturgical Movement and elsewhere. In Burying the Alleluia I wrote about about the long-standing practice of suppressing the Alleluia from Septuagesima in the pre-1970 Calendar and from the beginning of Lent in the Novus Ordo.

There is an introduction to the history of the season here.

The essential commonality of practice between the Eastern and Western Churches in the matter of fasting until recent decades when the Western liturgical seasons were simplified can be seen in the articles which the New Liturgical Movement has again written about in Some Notes on the Origins and Character of Septuagesimatide (NLM Reprint) . They have also linked to their post The Question of the Septuagesima Season and the Modern Roman Liturgy: Possible Enrichment? from three years ago which has drawn some interesting comments. 

Given the discrepancy which now exists between the OF and EF Calendars as to the Pre-Lent period this is a topic which could be resolved by reversion to ancient usage or by making observance of the pre-Lenten days at least an option in the Novus Ordo

Having written the other day about the way Candlemas is a link, a hinge if you like, between Christmastide and Lent-Easter I am inclined to the view that the traditional Septuagesima season makes for a more pastoral and psychologically satisfying. 

There is a fine set of photographs from the blog Ars Orandi of the traditional liturgy of Septuagesima Sunday in the Extraordinary Form as celebrated at Kinkora in Ontario in 2010 here.


No comments: