Episcopalians tend to have a reputation for being members of a church that likes to use “funny” names for things. The names of some of the feasts we observe are actually held in common by many other denominations. The names for many of these celebrations (Candlemas, Shrove Tuesday, Maundy Thursday, Tenebrae, etc.) have their roots in either Latin or older English terms.
You may see references to Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima from time to time. These last 3 Sundays before Lent have had special significance in times past that were marked by a more penitential feeling. I’ve grown up in a time where we just went straight from Epiphany to Lent.
Just my opinion, but I think that that we, as part of Christ’s Body, can benefit from reviving at least some aspects of pre-Lent/Shrovetide. For too many people, Lenten discipline has become too much about “What will I give up this year?” and “Ooops, I fell off the Lent wagon already!” (Your webmistress is as guilty of this as anyone, just so you know <g>)
While Lent should be more about reflection, it doesn’t hurt to have a period of time before the season to prepare. No matter whether you regularly observe Lent or not, taking time to reflect on what God has done for us and how we intend to live that out is good for the soul.