We propose that this coming Sunday be called the Trans-faux-guration.
The italics are optional.
To be honest, we don't especially hanker for the old "pre-Lent," variously called Septuagesima or Shrovetide. The idea, we gather, was to focus on penitence before the start of the fast proper. But frankly, both fasting and penitence are so far out of fashion that we worrry about beating a dead horse. In any case, Lent stands or falls on its own, and we don't think that its cause is served by a "Lent Lite."
We suspect that both ideas -- the Transferredguration and Mini-Lent -- evolved as efforts to deal with the the curious intrusion of some Ordinary Time (or Time of the Church, tempus per annum, or whatever you like, into the so-called Festival Season, those six months of the year in which green is not the usual color.
But why? There is some teaching value to that little intrusion, which reminds us that the Christian year is not merely a series of feasts and fasts linked by ... something forgettable. On the contrary -- and this was, paradoxically, one of the chief points of the 20th-century "Liturgical Movement" -- all time is God's time, and all the Church's days are consecrated equally to God.
The reformers of the calendar knew well how easy it is to over-emphasize the seemingly special occasions at the expense of the seemingly plain ones, which makes their decision to move a feast from summer to winter all the more mysterious and all the more wrong-headed. In our most cynical moments, we suspect that they may actually have thought something on the lines of "People should celebrate the Transfiguration more often; but people don't come to worship in summer; so let's move the Transfiguration to a time when attendance is higher." It is hard to imagine how this does favors for anybody, but there you go.
Ah, well. Come sunday, we will do what the publishing-house bulletin inserts tell us to do. We will wear white and preach on the strangely changed appearance of Our Lord. We will not ramble on about the calendar, or make up new names for the day. Not out loud. But in our heart of hearts, we will be ignoring the snow and cold, pretending that it is a warm summer day.