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The Logic of Pre-Lent and Lent

Robert D. Crouse








"Behold we go up to Jerusalem."

The call to pilgrimage


Parable of the vineyard.  Call to labour.

The free gift of grace.

"They that run in a race"  The discipline of athletes.  An incorruptible crown.

justly punished; mercifully delivered


Parable of the sower.

Cherish the seed; bring forth fruit.

In labours more abundant.

"If I must needs glory..."

by thy power defended against all adversity


"Behold we go up to Jerusalem."  Healing of the blind man.

Hymn to Charity - the character of our journey.

that most excellent gift of charity


The hazards of the journey

Conflicts with devils.

Lent 1

Jesus tempted in the wilderness.

Workers together with him in much patience.

grace to use such abstinence


Lent 2

Healing of Canaanite woman's daughter vexed with a devil.

Diabolical temptations in our lives.

Your sanctification.

no power of ourselves to help ourselves

Lent 3

Jesus casts out devil - the house swept and garnished.

Diabolical temptations in our lives.

Walk in love - as children of light.

our defence against all our enemies

Journey's End

Jerusalem above.

Divine mediation

Lent 4

Jesus feeds the multitude - the bread of heaven.

Jerusalem our mother.

Stand fast in liberty.

comfort of thy grace

Passion Sunday

Before Abraham was, I am.  (1962 - Mother of Zebedee's children)

Christ, high priest, mediator of a new covenant.

governed and preserved evermore

Palm Sunday

Passion according to St. Matthew

"Let this mind be in you..."

example of great humility


PreLent - 


From Sermon 1 for Septuagesima:

But between Epiphany and Lent, there are three Sundays, with ancient Latin names: Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima - the seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth days (approximately) before Easter. The intention of these three weeks is to prepare us to undertake the journey and the labour, the pilgrimage of Lent. ...these preparatory weeks introduce Lent as a journey, a pilgrimage, a labour: an exercise in growth to spiritual maturity, a putting off of "childish things" - a struggle to follow Christ through suffering to risen life. Spiritual maturity is indeed for each of us a struggle: a struggle to wean ourselves from worldliness, to attain a liberty of spirit which is not subservient to whims and appetites and vain imaginings, but rather weighs and judges all things by the word of God made manifest in Jesus Christ. [from Sermon 1]


From Sermon 2 for Septuagesima:

In the weeks since the beginning of Advent, all our Collects, Epistles and Gospels have centred around one theme: the expectation, the coming and manifestation – the Epiphany – of God, the Son of God, in our midst – the word of God made flesh, full of grace and truth, manifest in wisdom and in power. Now, in this second cycle, which begins today, we turn our minds to consider God’s work for our salvation in Jesus Christ – his ministry, his suffering and sacrifice, his triumph in Easter and Ascension, and his sending of the Holy Spirit. So, the first cycle is about God’s coming among us in Jesus Christ, the second is about his work for our salvation.

The three Sundays with Latin names – Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima – are really meant to constitute our preparation for that second cycle, and the scripture lessons for today should be thought about in that context. ...there are perhaps still some things to be learned from thinking about its history and its rational which seem to have been largely forgotten. For instance, one might recall that at one time in the early days of the Church, Septuagesima was actually the beginning of Lent, the day on which catechumens – new converts to Christianity – were first in church to begin their preparation for baptism for Easter. Think what today’s lessons must have meant for them.