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Confused? (I didn't think so)

Apparently, a number of years ago someone decided that the traditional practice of "pre-lent" was too confusing for the laity and he decided to eliminate it from the modern calendar. I cannot speak to what other Bishops do, but in the Ordinariate we practice pre-lent still (it is going on right now). Pre-lent is that time where we "ease into" Lent. We begin a few of the lenten practices (e.g. violet vestments and paraments, no Gloria or Alleluia), but not yet all of them (e.g. extra fasting and abstinence, etc.).

Were any of you confused? I often get curious as to what the real motivation was in the simplification of the liturgy. It is truly hard to believe that the clergy of 50+ years ago thought that the laity were that simple-minded. In fact, on that point, I would say that removing pre-lent makes Lent that more confusing! When we prepare for Lent it helps to avoid the "oh! it's here" feeling that can be very confusing ("Father, what do I do, I forgot to fast on Ash Wednesday; it just crept up on me!").

I hope and pray that these old traditions will be fully restored in all the Church. Until then, I am joyful to be in the Ordinariate, and thankful that we have a Bishop who does not think the laity (or the priests for that matter!) are simple-minded and unable to understand the historic practices of the Church.

So, for my parishioners at St. George, pre-lent is almost half over. You have a few more weeks to get ready for Lent. Be thinking about it. Be preparing for it. Plan your fast (or for those not bound by the fast, plan your alternative!) on Ash Wednesday. You are not "simple-minded"; you can do this!


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