I'm not an expert, I read the rules of the community but please go easy on me if I got this wrong.

I've been reading etymologies for a few years now and I have a question about the Sundays in lent. In an archaic dictionary I found this:

PASE-DAY. Easter-day. The following pro verbial lines refer to the Sundays in Lent : Tid, mid, misera, Carl, Paum, good Pose-day.

But if I'm correct we can look at it like: 1st Sunday, Tid; 2nd Sunday, mid; 3rd Sunday, misera; 4th Sunday (Laetare), Carl; 5th Sunday, Paum (Palm); 6th Sunday, good Pose-day (Easter?)

I think there's a Sunday missing.

And this question is wide open to different names of the same dates. I'm just using the Archaic etymology to develop an understanding of their meanings. So names outside of Archaic are encouraged

  • Here's a link to the book: books.google.ca/… and look up the meaning of "Carl" too, there's a rich world of etymologies!
    – Rob
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 23:28
  • 1
    I'm thinking the missing Sunday is the first, and has to do with varying lengths of Lenten observance, but I'm still checking. My first thought was the names had to do with the traditional introits for the Sunday Masses, but that's not working out exactly. Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 1:00
  • 2
    I found this, which is more in line with the specific etymology of your questions. elfinspell.com/England/Andrews/Antiques-Curiosities/… I'd provide an answer but, I just don't have the time, and this seems to cover it. Great question and another great answer by Ken, loads of new learning.
    – Marc
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 13:25

3 Answers 3


In the rhyme quoted:

Tid, Mid, Misera,

Carl, Paum, Good Pose-Day

the Carl, Paum and Good Pose-Day refer to the 5th Sunday in Lent (14 days before Easter), the 6th Sunday in lent(7 days before Easter) and Easter Day itself.

Carl Sunday or Carling Sunday is more commonly called Passion Sunday, the first day of the two-week season of Passiontide. It is traditional in Northern England to eat cakes made out of brown peas, called carlings. Although many say the food gave the name to the day (rather like Pancake Tuesday), others (including Rev Hudson Baker quoted by @Marc) say it was the other way round. Carl comes from the Old English word cearu meaning suffering, sorrow and grief, relating to the beginning of the Commemoration of the Lord's Passion on that day. This is possibly also related to the German name for Good Friday, karfreitag.

The day after Carling Sunday is known to schoolchildren as Farting Monday, due to the effects of the peas.

Paum, or Palm, Sunday is known throughout the Christian world as the commemoration of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem during which palm branches were waved.

Good Pose-Day, is in some versions of the rhyme Paste-Egg Day and in some Pace-Egg Day. In all cases it is probably a form of pascha, from where the word paschal, pertaining to Easter, also comes. Paste-Egg relates to the custom of colouring eggs, and Pace-Egg relates to the custom of rolling eggs, both Easter customs.

The first line: Tid, Mid, Misera is very obscure. They are usually regarded as the second, third and fourth Sundays in Lent respectively. This is said in the Gentleman's Magazine of 1788, quoted here. The origins of these names are obscure. Reverend Brady in 1812 said some suggested they related to the old pre-Reformation hymns sung on particular days. The Ambrosian hymn "Te Deum" sung on the second Sunday of Lent, another hymn "Mi Deus" on the third, and Misera Mei (Psalm 51) on the fourth. However the scholar J M Neale suggested Misera was a corruption of Reminiscere Sunday, which as Ken points out is a name for the Second Sunday in Lent. He was an expert on pre-Reformation English liturgy but knew of nothing that could explain the "Tid Mid Misera" line. The Te Deum Laudamus theory is apparently unlikely because the Te Deum was sung all year round except in Advent and Lent, so hardly likely to give its name to any Sunday, least of all one in Lent.

Baker suggests that Tid referred originally to the Second Sunday, it occurring after ten days of fasting, and tid being related to tithe or ten. Mid and Misera were, according to him one name referring to the fourth Sunday and meaning mid-Lent.

Another explanation is that they may be obsolete counting words. Misera, the fourth Sunday in Lent, bears a slight similarity to methera, a Cumbrian word for fourth.

There is no commonly-accepted derivation for tid mid misera.

The fifth Sunday before Christmas, the Sunday before Advent, is known as Stir-up Sunday, partly because it is the traditional day to stir Christmas Puddings and partly because the Collect for that Sunday begins "Stir up, O Lord, the hearts of thy faithful people ...". The Collect reminding people of the need to stir the puddings.

  • great answer and very helpful to me, thank you
    – Rob
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 20:03

The Names of the Individual Sundays of Lent

According to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, the Sundays of Lent are known as the following:

In Eastern and Oriental Christianity

Palm Sunday, or the "Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem" as it may be called in Orthodox Churches, is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the liturgical year. The day before Palm Sunday, Lazarus Saturday, believers often prepare palm fronds by knotting them into crosses in preparation for the procession on Sunday. The hangings and vestments in the church are changed to a festive color – most commonly green. - Palm Sunday (Wikipedia)

In the Ambrosian (Milan) Rite, the Sundays of Lent are known as follows:

  • First Sunday of lent: “In capite jejunii"
  • Second Sunday of Lent: Samaritan Woman Sunday
  • Third Sunday of Lent: Abraham Sunday
  • Fourth Sunday of Lent: Man Born Blind Sunday
  • Fifth Sunday of Lent: Lazarus Sunday
  • Sixth Sunday of Lent: Sunday "of the Palms"

In the Mozarabic Rite, the Sundays of Lent are Known as the Following:

  • First Sunday of lent: "Dominica prima Quadragesimæ" and Christ in the Wilderness Sunday
  • Second Sunday of Lent: Samaritan Woman Sunday
  • Third Sunday of Lent: Healing of the Blind Man Sunday
  • Fourth Sunday of Lent: "Jam autem die festo mediante" for Mid-Lent Sunday
  • Fifth Sunday of Lent: Raising of Lazarus Sunday
  • Sixth Sunday of Lent: "Dominica in Ramis Palmarum" (Palm Sunday)
  • +1. Perhaps this might be further improved by saying where the Latin words come from? Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 18:25
  • What does "Refreshment" in Refreshment Sunday mean?
    – Rob
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 20:05
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    @Rob Seeing that it is the same Sunday as Laetare (Rose) Sunday and Lent is now over half gone by and some people make their meal on this particular Sunday a little bit more enjoyable than the normal Lenten fare. For example, I know some religious orders that eat pancakes on this day.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 21:04
  • @AndrewLeach The Latin names for the first five of the six Sundays are the first words of the Introit of the Masses (except that, for the first Sunday, "Invocavit" should be "Invocabit"). Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 0:57
  • @AndreasBlass Roman Rite preserves a form of Latin which predates the Vulgate of St. Jerome, the Vetus Latina, literally “Old Latin” (a general term encompassing numerous early Latin Scripture translations). It is from this Psalter that we get the proper names of Sundays, which are simply the opening word or words from the ancient Introits. For the first Sunday in Lent, the Vetus Latina reads, “Invocavit me, et in ego exaudiam eum.” - The reason why it’s “Invocavit,” with a “V”
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 5:35

For the Eastern Orthodox the Sundays of Lent are:

  1. Sunday of Orthodoxy,
  2. Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas,
  3. Sunday of the Holy Cross,
  4. Sunday of St. John Climacus, and
  5. Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt.


  1. Palm Sunday is considered part of Holy Week which is separate from Lent.

  2. Great and Holy Pascha (Easter) (April 28, 2019)

And in preparation, the Sundays before Lent are:

  1. Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee,
  2. Sunday of the Prodigal Son,
  3. Sunday of the Last Judgment, and
  4. Sunday of Forgiveness

Names taken from Orthodox Wiki
Additional information from the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America

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