Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Sundays of Lent: Learn 'em, Live 'em, Love 'em!

When I was a kid, I learned an easy way to remember the names of the Sundays of Lent. There is a little German phrase that runs like this: In rechter Ordnung lerne Jesu Passion. "In right order learn Jesus’ passion." If you take the first letter of each word in that phrase, you get the first letter of the first word in the introit for each Lenten Sunday:

In: Invocabit

Right: Reminiscere

Order: Oculi

Learn: Laetare

Jesus’: Judica

Passion: Palmarum

You’ll notice that the last one doesn’t stand for a word in the introit, but rather describes the feast day: Dominica Palmarum, “The Sunday of Palms”. The Roman Gradual uses the description, “Dominica in Palmis”. I grew up using the term Palmarum to describe Palm Sunday. Of course these introits are the traditional ones for Lent. You’ll notice that Brian correctly informs us in the header that this week is that of Tibi dixit. In the new Roman Gradual there are now more options (compared to the Liber Usualis) regarding which texts can be used on many Sundays. For Lent II, Tibi dixit is the first choice. One may also use the traditional introit for the second Sunday, Reminiscere. This little word play has undoubtedly helped out countless students pass their Confirmation exams.

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