Monday, March 24, 2014

Tempus Quadragesimae in Liturgical Music

by Lukáš Olejník

Part 1

Tempus Quadragesimae, in other words Lent or Fortieth, is " the approximately forty day period celebrated by the Church each year to prepare for the Loard’s resurrection at Easter" (Lefevbre). Many denominations of the Christian family, including Catholics, Orthodox, or Anglicans, if strictly practitioning, are instructed by the word of Scripture to maintain an abstention from meat on various days and occasions of Lent. The precision with which this direction is being observed varies among different denominations. While Western church mostly requires to fast from meat "on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent, and fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday" (Lefevbre), the Eastern church, on the other hand, recommends the restraint from meat for the full duration of Lent, forty days.
Fasting and abstinence themselves, as  physical demonstrations of true and sincere Christian faith, more than at any different point of the liturgical year, shall be motivated by deep prayer and an active participation in daily Mass. With regard to the magnified significance of Lent as a period of the liturgical year directly resulting in the most important Christian feast, the formal participation of congregation in a number of celebratory rituals is required across the spectrum of all denominations. Music, as one of the traditional tools of Christian Church, plays a crucial role in the fulfillment of this condition. Regulations of the Roman Catholic Church regarding the form and aesthetics of the liturgy’s musical component are very strict and currently feature an interesting combination of tradition and innovation. Both these aspects will be further discussed in my future posts.


Lefevbre, Gaspar Dom. St. Andrew Daily Missal. Saint Paul: E. M. Lohman Company, 1958.


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