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If your Christmas decorations arent put away yet, you may not be totally prepared for the fact that Lent is upon us.
In fact, unless you were around for Easter in 1913, this will be the earliest Easter in your lifetime. Easter falls on March 23 this year, the second-earliest date possible. Easters earliest date is March 22, which last occurred in 1818. (See column on Page 30 to find out how it all works.)
Because Easter falls on March 23, the Church has made changes to the liturgical calendar that also may come as surprises:
For liturgical purposes, the optional memorial or commemoration of St. Patrick has moved from March 17 to March 14 (Archbishop Henry J. Mansell has granted a dispensation from the Lenten Friday abstinence from meat on that day);
The solemnity of St. Joseph will be observed on March 15 instead of March 19;
The solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord has moved from March 25 to March 31;
Because Divine Mercy Sunday is the Second Sunday of Easter, it, too, will be early this year (March 30). The Transcript will list parishes' Divine Mercy devotions in its March issue.