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The three Sundays before Lent are traditionally called Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima. The Latin names for these Sundays signify that they are the seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth days (approximately) before Easter.

These Pre-Lenten Sundays call us back from our Christmas feasting and joy to prepare us for the season of fasting, prayer and self-discipline, so that with penitent hearts, we may keep a holy Lent.

How will you observe Lent this year?

The Book of Common Prayer marks the 40 days of Lent as 'Days of Abstinence.' (BCP p. xiii). Abstaining or giving-up something for Lent is a powerful way of marking this season. Traditionally, Christians gave up meat and dairy and reduced their intake of food. Orthodox Christians still observe this fast today and you can learn more their practice here. See also this Anglican guide to Lenten fasting with vegetarian recipe suggestions.

Find something to give up that you will notice, that will challenge you, but that you think you can manage until Easter. Lent is also a time to focus inwardly, to read Scripture (like the Sermon on the Mount), to pray and to do good works. 

Think about how you will observe Lent this year and use this time to grow closer to the Lord.