Sunday, February 12, 2017 Septuagesima
The LORD, however, said to Moses: Do not fear him; for into your hand I deliver him with all his forces and his land. You will do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.
This verse is referring to Og a great and terrible giant King.
OG (Heb. עֹג ,עוֹג), ruler of Bashan, one of the Amorite kings in the Transjordan area during the time of Moses. The Bible remembers Og as belonging to the race of giants "who was left of the remaining Rephaim," and special attention is paid to the description of his huge iron bedstead (Deut. 3:11). The kingdom of Og comprised Bashan and the Hermon region, and extended to the Jordan river to the west (Josh. 12:4–5). Three or four of the cities of his kingdom are mentioned in the Bible – Ashtaroth, which was apparently his capital and known as the capital of the realm From this it would appear that his kingdom was one of the remaining Hyksos kingdoms whose cities at that time were scattered in Palestine. It is also possible that this kingdom was established by Amorites who invaded the area in the time of the Egyptian-Hittite struggle during the reign of Ramses II (13th century). Og was defeated by the Israelites when the eastern side of the Jordan was conquered by those who left Egypt (Num. 21:33, 35; Deut. 3:1ff.). Half of the tribe of Manasseh took Og's land as their inheritance (Josh. 13:31). This victory greatly strengthened the spirit of the people. "Sixty towns … fortified with high walls, gates, and bars" were then conquered (Deut. 3:4–5). Echoes of this victory, which was of exceptional importance, are also encountered in later passages (Josh. 13:12; Ps. 135:11; 136:20; Neh. 9:22).
Septuagesima Now begins the Pre-Lenten Season in which we need to exile ourselves from the world and the need to ascribe to asceticism.
Three weeks prior to Ash Wednesday, on the day before Septuagesima Sunday, a touching ceremony is held. A choir assembles, chants the divine office and, afterwards, sings a bittersweet hymn bidding farewell to the word
"Alleluia": We do not now deserve to sing the Alleluia forever; Guilt forces us to dismiss you, O Alleluia. For the time approaches in which we must weep for our sins.
So important was Lent to both Eastern and Western Christians that they actually had a separate season to prepare for it. Thus, the day after Septuagesima Sunday, they would begin a period of voluntary fasting that would grow more severe as it approached the full and obligatory fast of Lent. The amount of food would be reduced, and the consumption of certain items, such as butter, milk, eggs, and cheese, would gradually be abandoned. Starting on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, this self-imposed asceticism would culminate in abstinence from meat. Thus the name for this seven-day period before Ash Wednesday is "Carnival," from the Latin carne levarium, meaning "removal of meat." Finally, within the week of Carnival, the last three days (the three days prior to Lent) would be reserved for going to confession. This period was known as "Shrovetide," from the old English word "to shrive," or to have one's sins forgiven through absolution.
WHY is this Sunday traditionally called Septuagesima? The word means seventy. According to the First Council of Orleans, in the year A.D. 545, many pious ecclesiastics and lay persons of the primitive Church used to fast seventy days before Easter, and their fast was called, therefore, Septuagesima, a name which was afterwards retained to distinguish this Sunday from others. The same was the case with the three following Sundays; many Christians beginning their fast sixty days before Easter, whence the name Sexagesima; others fifty days, whence Quinquagesima; others forty days, whence Quadragesima.
Why did the first Christians fast seventy days? Alcuin and Amakrius say that the captivity of the Jews in Babylon first suggested it; for as the Jews were obliged to do penance seventy years, that they might thereby merit to return into the promised land, so Christians sought to regain the grace of God by fasting for seventy days.
Why does the Church, from this Sunday until Easter, omit all joyful chants, as the Te Deum, Alleluia, Gloria in Excelsis? To remind the sinner of the grievousness of his errors, and to exhort him to penance. To incite us to sorrow for our sins, and to show us the necessity of repentance, the Church at the Introit in the name of all nations unites her prayers with David, saying, “The sorrows of death surrounded me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me, and in my affliction I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice from His holy temple. I will love Thee! O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer.”
Lincoln's Birthday celebrates the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, one of the most popular presidents in United States history. It is a state holiday in some states on or around February 12. It's also known as Abraham Lincoln's Birthday, Abraham Lincoln Day or Lincoln Day.
Goffines Devout Instructions, 1896
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