The three Sundays preceding Ash Wednesday are called Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima, which mean, respectively, the seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth day, that is, before Easter. They are mere names to correspond with the name of Lent (Quadragesima, fortieth); obviously they do not actually correspond with the period they indicate. Man, victim of the sin of Adam and of his own sins, is justly afflicted; groans and sorrow encompass him.
On these Sundays the Gloria in excelsis and Alleluia are omitted, except when the Mass of a feast is said, and violet vestments are used in preparation for Lent.
For more information on the lost season of Septuagesima, see Fish Eaters or the Catholic Encyclopedia.
This morning there was another baptism at the Kartause: the granddaughter of architect Hildebrand. Speaking of which, Thomas will most likely be baptized this Tuesday before the 5:15 community Mass. That would be 11:15 Michigan time - please keep the little guy in your prayers.