First, for those who don’t know, in the traditional Roman calendar, going all the way back before St. Gregory the Great (+604), there have been “pre-Lent” Sundays, celebrated in violet. The Church ceases in Mass and Office to sing “Alleluia” until Easter. They are nicknamed Septuagesima, Latin for the “Seventieth” day before Easter (the number, 70, is more symbolic than arithmetical) Sexagesima (“sixtieth”) and Quinquagesima (“fiftieth”) before Ash Wednesday brings in Lent (called in Latin Quadragesima, “Fortieth”). These pre-Lenten Sundays prepare us for the discipline of Lent, which once was far stricter. The Sundays have Roman Stations. In ancient times, catechumens were taken to the Station Masses where they heard tough readers and tougher prayers.
In the Novus Ordo of Paul VI there is no more pre-Lent.