The Gesisma Sundays, or Gesimatide, is probably the least known season of the church year. Also known as Pre-Lent, it is a short, three-Sunday season which prepares us for Lent, our journey to Easter, and ultimately, a journey in our Baptismal Life to die with Christ and rise again with Him.
The three Sundays are simply English conversions of the Latin words for 70th day, 60th day, and 50th day. Septuagesima (70 days to Easter), Sexagesima (60 days to Easter),and Quinquagesima (50 days to Easter). Lent itself is the 40-day period to Easter (Sundays, or “little Easters,” are excluded in the numbering, by the way, in case you actually did the math).
Each of the Sunday’s readings, interestingly enough, correspond to the Solas of the Lutheran Reformation, making this often neglected season the most Lutheran of all.