SEPTUAGESIMA - PREFACE

This third section of the Liturgical Year is much shorter than the two preceding ones; and yet it is one of real interest. The Season of Septuagesima has only three weeks of the Proper of the Time, and the Feasts of the Saints are far less frequent than at other periods of the Year. The Volume we now offer to the Faithful may be called one of transition, inasmuch as it includes the period between two important Seasons, - Christmas and Lent. We have endeavoured to teach them how to spend these three weeks; and we flatter ourselves that our instructions will show them, that, even in this the least interesting portion of the Ecclesiastical Year, there is much to be learned. They will find the Church persevering in carrying out the one sublime idea which pervades the whole of her Liturgy; and, consequently, they must derive solid profit from imbibing the spirit peculiar to this Season.

Were we, therefore, to keep aloof from the Church during Septuagesima, we should not have a complete idea of her Year, of which these three weeks form an essential part. The three preliminary Chapters of this Volume will convince them of the truth of our observation; and we feel confident, that when they have once understood the ceremonies, and formulas, and instructions, offered them by the Church during this short Season, they will value it as it deserves.