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Quinquagesima is the name for the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. It was also called Quinquagesima Sunday, Quinquagesimae or Estomihi. The name Quinquagesima originates from Latin quinquagesimus (fiftieth), referring to the fifty days before Easter Day using inclusive counting which counts both Sundays (normal counting would count only one of these). Since the forty days of the Lenten fast does not include Sundays, the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, succeeds Quinquagesima Sunday by only three days. The name Estomihi is derived from the beginning of the Introit for the Sunday, Esto mihi in Deum protectorem, et in locum refugii, ut salvum me facias, Psalms 31:3.
The earliest Quinquagesima Sunday can occur is February 1 and the latest is March 7.
Following the Second Vatican Council, this term for this Sunday (and the two immediately before it — Sexagesima and Septuagesima Sundays) was eliminated, and these Sundays are part of Ordinary Time. The contemporary service books of many Anglican provinces do not use the term but it remains in the Book of Common Prayer. According to the reformed Roman Rite Roman Catholic calendar, this Sunday is now known by its number within Ordinary Time — fourth through ninth, depending upon the date of Easter — or the fourth through the ninth Sunday after Epiphany in the contemporary Anglican calendars, and that of various Protestant polities. The earlier form of the Roman Rite, with its references to Quinquagesima Sunday, and to the Sexagesima and Septuagesima Sundays, continues to be observed in some communities.
In traditional lectionaries, the Sunday concentrates on Luke 18:31-34, 'Jesus took the twelve aside and said, 'Lo, we go to Jerusalem, and everything written by the prophets about the Son of Man shall be fulfilled.' The disciples, however, understood none of this.' The passage presages the themes of Lent and Holy Week.
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