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Features > Out of the question >

Old names of pre-Lent Sundays

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What is the origin of the beautiful traditional names Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima for the Sundays before Lent, and why were they dropped?

The names were probably established by about the seventh century. The name Quadragesima was given to the first Sunday in the 40-day fast of Lent. Quinquagesima was given its name, by analogy, because it is exactly 50 days before Easter.

The Sundays Sexagesima and Septuagesima, ...

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