The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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It's all down-hill from here....

Canisius | 23 March, 2006 21:19

Happy mid-Lent Thursday! Today is the exact mid-point of Lent!

OK, I'm speaking a bit loosely. In the current calendar at least, Lent runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, and ends at the moment that the Mass of the Lord's Supper begins on Holy Thursday. So technically, today is NOT the mid-point of the season of Lent.

Dom Gueranger is more precise: he says that today is the twentieth of the forty fasts imposed on us by the Church. Back in his day, every day of Lent except for Sunday was a fast day, and Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday were fast days as well. So if you take Ash Wednesday throuh Holy Saturday and subtract Sundays, you get forty days, of which today is the twentieth. (In fact, today is the midpoint of that stretch even if you don't subtract Sundays, if you want to pick nits.)

The Church has dropped the Lenten fast almost altogether, and so Sundays in Lent are no longer differentiated from other days in Lent in terms of official penitential legislation. But here's one case where the layfolks seem to exercised their power as the masses, and popular custom still dictates that Sundays are not penitential days in the same way as the rest of Lent while the Triduum is a period of penance. When you speak of "Lent", most people think of all the penitential-type days before Easter, including the Triduum.

So I think we can still say, "Happy mid-Lent Thursday!"


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