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Datesecond Sunday before Ash Wednesday (79 calendar days before Easter Sunday)
2019 dateFebruary 24
2020 dateFebruary 16
2021 dateFebruary 7
2022 dateFebruary 20

Sexagesima /sɛksəˈɛsɪmə/, or, in full, Sexagesima Sunday, is the name for the second Sunday before Ash Wednesday in the pre-1970 Roman Rite liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church, and also in that of some Protestant denominations, particularly those with Anglican and Lutheran origins.


The name "Sexagesima" is derived from the Latin sexagesimus, meaning "sixtieth," and appears to be a back-formation of Quinquagesima, the term formerly used to denote the last Sunday before Lent (the latter name alluding to the fact that there are fifty days between that Sunday and Easter, if one counts both days themselves in the total as was the usual custom of the Roman Empire). Through the same process, the Sunday before Sexagesima Sunday was formerly known as Septuagesima Sunday, and marked the start of the Pre-Lenten Season which eventually became the time for carnival celebrations throughout Europe, this custom being later exported to places settled or colonized by Europeans. While Quinquagesima (50th day) is mathematically correct (allowing for the inclusive counting), Sexagesima and Septuagesima are only approximations (the exact number of days is 57 and 64 respectively). The earliest Sexagesima can occur is January 25 and the latest is February 28 (or February 29 in a leap year).

Following the Second Vatican Council, Sexagesima and the other pre-Lent Sundays were eliminated in the new Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. These reforms went into effect in 1970. Most provinces of the Anglican Communion later followed in abolishing Sexagesima and the other pre-Lent Sundays, though they are retained wherever the Prayer Book Calendar is followed. The earlier form of the Roman Rite, with its references to Quinquagesima, Sexagesima and Septuagesima, continues to be observed in some communities.

Anglican use[edit]

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer, used in some Anglican provinces, retains Sexagesima Sunday (along with Septuagesima and Quinquagesima), [1] as does the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer.[2]

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