Various days of penance, repentance, or penitence, have been proclaimed and observed from time to time at various places, to the extent that it is difficult to distinguish anything near a common long-standing pattern. In the early ch., Wednesdays and Fridays of every week were thought of as penitential days. The 1st of M. Luther's* 95 Theses* reads: Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, in saying: 'Repent ye,' etc., intended that the whole life of believers should be penitence. In modern times, esp. under Ref. influence (e.g., in Kassel, Hesse, and Württemberg) quarterly and even monthly penitential days were appointed. After 1893 many Luths. in Ger. observed the Wednesday before the last Sunday after Trin. as a penitential day. Luth. liturgical books provide for a Day of Humiliation and Prayer without setting a specific date. Advent and Lent are gen. observed as penitential seasons. See also Hallelujah.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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