Sunday, February 15, 2004

Sexagesima Sunday

. . . . is the eighth Sunday before Easter and the second before Lent. The Ordo Romanus, Alcuin, and others count the Sexagesima from this day to Wednesday after Easter. The name was already known to the Fourth Council of Orleans in 541. For the Greeks and Slavs it is Dominica Carnisprivii, because on it they began, at least to some extent, to abstain from meat. The Synaxarium calls it Dominica secundi et muneribus non corrupti adventus Domini. To the Latins it is also known as "Exsurge" from the beginning of the Introit. The statio was at Saint Paul's outside the walls of Rome, and hence the oratio calls upon the doctor of the Gentiles. The Epistle is from Paul, II Cor., xi and xii describing his suffering and labours for the Church. The Gospel (Luke, viii) relates the falling of the seed on nood and on bad ground, while the Lessons of the first Nocturn continue the history of man's iniquity, and speak of Noah and of the Deluge.


Up, Lord, why sleepest thou? Awake, and be not absent from us for ever: wherefore hidest thou thy face? and forgettest our misery and trouble? Our belly cleaveth unto the ground: arise, and help us, and deliver us. Ps. ibid. O God, we have heard with our ears: our fathers have declared unto us. V. Glory be.


O God, Who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do: mercifully grant: that by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles we may be defended against all our adversities. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

It is St. Paul who is the doctor of the gentiles. In the old days the stational church for this Sunday was St. Paul Outside the Walls. This site explains the reference this way:

When Italy was invaded by the Lombards in A.D. 568, and the city of Rome was in danger of being captured and sacked, the Bishop of Rome led his clergy and congregation outside the walls of Rome on three successive Sundays to celebrate the Liturgy, as a sign that they sought their chief protection not from fortifications but from the providence of God.