That's right: my dad (Lutheran) also gave something up for Lent and kept a mite box with us Catholics.
Our mite boxes as kids were small, round canisters that we wrote our names on and brought back to school before Easter break. (Catholic school) One end had a coin slot across the top. http://www.dpmurphy.com/productimages/L461.jpg
The parish DH and I belonged to after we married was very post-Vatican II, modern and liberal. They did everything with style - lots of creative, ingenious people. One year, the Lenten Offering was a printed disk of shiny cardboard like origami - you folded until it became an octagonal box that looked like a bread basket. (Hard to describe) The Charity that year was Food for the Poor so it was a very appropriate reminder, which is why it was on my desk.
Most parishes use small boxes because they're lighter to collect and prepare for donations. This is from an Episcopal church supply company, but a box is a box.
Pancakes and bacon for dinner followed by a delicious frosted cake. I hid a small plastic rabbit inside the cake before I frosted it and the daughter who helped with the baking got that slice! I don't remember what that find entails - I thought that, with a Kings Cake, the finder buys next year's cake, lol.
My brother just posted on Facebook that it is some strange twist of fate that Saint Patrick's Day is a week after Fat Tuesday this year.
Easter is late....
I grew up Baptist, so I never had the concept of Lent in my brain. Now I'm Episcopal. As I understand it, the objective is to give up something as a sacrifice or do without something one holds important personally. But frankly, I think doing good deeds and giving money to good causes is a better use of resources than just giving up wine (no way) or some food we like. Then again, it's about personal sacrifice...?? Maybe somebody can explain it better to me. I'm not able to get back to church for a couple of weeks.
Maybe I'll give up salsa.
Holley - For me the giving up is not really sacrificial, especially not financially motivated. It's more about the time and reason for the habit. I make time for my daily coffee, but not for prayer. So, instead of thinking of coffee and having coffee, I am trying to pray (and not necessarily the sit down kind, sometimes it will be a passing prayer like conversation with God). I've never had it related to donating money or doing good deeds; it's more about my personal relationship with God and trying to reconnect. Mine is almost always related to me wanting a better relationship with God, and praying more.
Thank you Angelskates. I understand what you are saying perfectly.
I've decided to give up my three vices , coffee, chocolate and.
I hope I can last 40 days without any of this...
Fasting, giving up leavened bread, and no meat on friday (but that's year round for me).
skatepixie - do you fast entire meals? How often?
escaflowne9282 awesome! Will you count Sundays? (Then it's 46 days!) I always count Sundays.
I am giving up chocolate this year. And every time I crave some chocolate, I will remind myself of the reason. A priest friend of mine told me once that giving up something small like chocolate is like practice for times when you need more discipline for bigger things. My parish always uses the Holy Thursday collection for the poor, and we also bring food items in to donate that night.
I am also going to get to Mass one more time during the week, and on certain days I will spend some extra time in prayer, with the consciousness examen (that Ignatius of Loyola suggested). This is to look for the presence of God in my daily life, not so much to look for every little thing I do wrong.
I think it's easier to remember if you don't "take Sundays off from abstinence." Just sets it as a new habit.
But abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent doesn't count for much if you either don't eat meat normally or if you really really like fish! It would be like me saying I'm giving up lima beans for Lent when I don't ever eat them to begin with.
Yes, the whole concept is one of sacrifice or doing something difficult.
My mother was a severe coffee addict all of her life. One year she decied to give up coffee for Lent. She made life so miserable for the duration that the next year the family got together and refused to allow her to give up coffee ever again on the grounds that her giving up coffee made Lent hell for everyone around her.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the "rules" for fasting and abstaining only apply to those between the ages of 15 and 59 - which at the 8:15 AM Mass I go to generally excludes two-thirds of the congregation!
"You just can't underestimate the power of positive underwear." 2013 Fruit of the Loom ad
To Catholics, giving up meat (and sauces, soups, etc. made with meat) on Lenten Fridays has a different meaning than the person's giving up something for Lent to make a personal sacrifice.
http://deacongerry.blogspot.com/2011...ish-fries.htmlBefore Vatican II, Catholics were required to abstain from eating meat every Friday — a sacrifice honoring the day Jesus Christ died — and fast on all weekdays in Lent. Now, Catholics are expected to avoid meat only on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent, and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
My in-laws rarely ate meat on Fridays, even after Vatican II. They would eat something like pasta e fagiolio or beans with broccoli raab instead.
This is my first Lent ever, so between my three main vices: food, sex, and the Internet, I decided to keep it simple - No Facebook until Easter.
I couldn't do no FSUniverse - that's just not realistic.
The information in this thread is really neat! Thanks esp to Holly, Angelskates and Figure Spins for their explanations I don't really know that much about Lent, so I hope you guys'll indulge me with some questions...when you guys say "fast a whole meal," what does that mean? Does that mean skipping the meal altogether, or does that mean that you have a lighter than usual meal?
Is the point of Lent to commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus? I know Lent leads up to Good Friday and Easter, which is why I'm wondering if it's the same "holiday" so to speak. When people "fast" for Lent, does that basically mean that they're changing their diet habits, or does that refer to abstaining from an action? Can it be both? Was Lent historically about giving up food but then evolved into giving up other things?
Finally, do only Catholics get the ash crosses on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday or do other denominations do the same?
Thanks for answering my questions! I know, I could probably ask my co-workers (I work at an interfaith org ) but I'd really rather not
As for the Lenten sacrifice, if you are familiar with Ramadan, it's the same concept, but with a lot more flexibility. During Ramadan, observant Muslims don't touch food or drink during daylight hours. During Lent, observant Catholics and some Protestants perform a sacrifice. It can be as simple as giving up candy or alcohol, or something much more complex. As our priest explained it, if you don't notice, it's not a sacrifice. Does that help?
AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan
Typically, it means skipping a meal, however "Fasting" in and of itself is similar to the celebration of Ramadan: you only eat a single meal during the entire day.when you guys say "fast a whole meal," what does that mean? Does that mean skipping the meal altogether, or does that mean that you have a lighter than usual meal?
The rules have changed since Vatican II. Today, during Lent, the observant fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, in accordance with the church guidelines.When people "fast" for Lent, does that basically mean that they're changing their diet habits, or does that refer to abstaining from an action? Can it be both?
Catholics today are also asked to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent. As I said before, my parents' generation abstained from meat EVERY Friday, year-round. That changed with Vatican II.
Also, to show self-discipline, most people "give up" something for Lent. I always understood it to be tied to a sacrifice of something meaningful that allows you to help others, but other posters have said something different. When I gave up Coca-Cola, I saved the money I would have spent in order to donate to a charity and help others.
This one I learned from the Liturgy Committee, as I sat there feeling stupid for not knowing it before.Is the point of Lent to commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus? I know Lent leads up to Good Friday and Easter, which is why I'm wondering if it's the same "holiday" so to speak.
The New Testament tells us that Jesus went to the desert to fast and pray for 40 days. It was a period of preparation for Him: he knew that his time on earth was coming to an end and he had to choose whether or not he was ready to accept that fate. Satan tempted him to deny it and save himself, but he resisted that temptation.
Lent is a period (although the math is funny) where we choose to do the same preparation and soul-searching.
Lent is about preparing spiritually for a change and being more prayful and serious about self-reflection. Many church services drastically cut the music, eliminate after-mass social gatherings, and decorations are typically sparse and low-key. I used to think it was like a period of mourning, but it's more like having a family member under hospice care.Was Lent historically about giving up food but then evolved into giving up other things?
The food and meat connection is because they were in the desert for 40 days. They didn't hunt, they couldn't carry much food, so fasting, praying and going without was the way Jesus and his disciples prepared for his upcoming End.
Not just Catholics, as someone else said. The ashes are symbolic that we all start as ashes and when we die, we return to ashes. That's actually the gist of the blessing that the priest/minister offers to the penetant.Finally, do only Catholics get the ash crosses on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday or do other denominations do the same?
Trivia: the ashes most churches use are made from burnt Palm fronds from the prior Palm Sunday mass. At our parish, we would bring in our palm crosses and fronds to the Parish House. The Deacon would build a fire outside to turn them into ashes. (Well, it was in a hibachi grill, lol. Small, controlled fires are better in NYC.)
Toward the end of Lent, there are four major events on the Catholic calendar:
. Palm Sunday - commemorates the day that Jesus and his disciples rode into Jerusalem. The crowds cheered and greeted him by waving Palm fronds, like parade watchers waving flags. Churches re-enact this with their parishioners, so you'll often see a procession waving palms and singing. THis takes place on the Sunday before Easter.
Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter go together: they're called the Easter Triduum.
. Holy Thursday - commemorates the day that Jesus told his disciples to minister to the people who believed in him. This is often called the "Mass of the Lord's Supper." The Catholic church considers this to be the creation of the Priesthood and the first consecretion of bread and wine to represent Christ's death. Services on this day include the washing of the feet to show service and caring for people.
After the Mass, already-consecrated bread and wine are taken in a procession to the "Altar of Repose." Which in a small church like ours meant a rental tent in the backyard. People take turns staying there to pray before the Eucharist, around the clock, to represent the Disciples doing the same for Jesus in his last hours.
. Good Friday - this is considered the day that the Lord was crucified, at sundown. There is no consecration portion of the Mass on this day, because Jesus has died in this recreation. There is a communion service, using the hosts from the Altar of Repose. This is my least-favorite ritual: the Veneration of the Cross. UGH! I hate it - you're supposed to homage to the cross. People kiss it, lie prostrate on the floor, and some even cry. I try to avoid Good Friday whenever possible, lol.
. Easter - just as there's a midnight mass on Christmas, there is the Easter Vigil. Churches build fires outside (with the fire department standing nearby in NYC), and the parishioners process into the church in darkness, where they are given a candle to hold. The ceremony opens by having one candle lit from the Light (bonfire) and the flame is passed from person to person, representing how faith is shared and the light can be found. One cantor proclaims a lengthy song to start the services. It's beautiful to see the light overtake the darkness in the church. I love Easter Vigil, although the Easter services at normal hours are a lot of fun. Volunteers work very hard to change the Church decorations over from dismal to overwhelmingly happy and bright: lots of flowers, the best linens and vestments. The music is always festive and top-notch. People wear their best clothes and yes, even Easter Bonnets.
Last edited by FigureSpins; 03-10-2011 at 12:16 AM.