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Thread: Lent

  1. #41

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    I'll add a few things to FigureSpins nice post.
    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    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.
    Yes, and there are no "alleluia's" of any kind. The whole ambience is much more somber and serious.
    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins
    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.
    I don't think the disciples were there when Jesus spent his 40 days in the desert, that was at the beginning of his active ministry.
    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins
    Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter go together: they're called the Easter Triduum.
    What I think is cool is that the whole period of time is one liturgy. So, there is no formal ending to the Holy Thursday Mass, no beginning and no ending to the Good Friday, and of course a very different "beginning" to the Easter vigil.

    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins
    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.
    This is not my favorite service either, but many people in my parish bow deeply before the cross or genuflect, and that's what I do. I haven't seen anyone lie prostrate in front of it. Of course, the priest and deacon do that at the start of the Good Friday service. I do like the very somber nature of it.

    And now I need to go to our Ash Wednesday Mass.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Can you imagine giving up FSU????!!!!!!
    Actually, I decided to give up reading FSU at work for Lent. Hey, it's a big sacrifice, with Worlds coming up. And of course, after weeks of being extremely busy, today was quite slow and boring and I could've used the distraction.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by escaflowne9282 View Post
    Well the last time I gave up coffee for Lent(and yes I made it all the way through), I didn't realize that Sundays didn't count, so I think I'll just do the same this time and count Sundays. So far so good;it's been (almost )half a day without any of my three "friends"
    Nice start!

    Orable, I'll attempt to answer your questions from my personal perspective. I'm non-denominational Christian (late starter at 18) and grew up "officially" Catholic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orable View Post
    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?
    For me it's a meal, though I can't do it for medical reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orable View Post
    Is the point of Lent to commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus?
    It's actually the Lenten season, and the point is to prepare for Easter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orable View Post
    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.
    Not the same holiday to me. The Lenten Season is the period before Easter, which prepares for Easter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orable View Post
    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?
    Sometimes it's not even abstaining, it might be adding something charitable, or adding prayer time, or time reading the Bible. It's really an individual choice. One of my friends is eating a piece of fruit every day!

    Quote Originally Posted by Orable View Post
    Can it be both?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orable View Post
    Was Lent historically about giving up food but then evolved into giving up other things?
    Lent is historically tied to Jesus' preparation for the Cross. Others has explained this better than I can, but is a time for reflection, prayer, acknowledgement of God being God, and following Him. I disagree with some that it is mostly about sacrifice. God sacrificed his Son, yes, but Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness were more about prayer, time with God, acknowledgement and obedience IMO. The fasting served a purpose, and that was partly sacrificial, and probably also partly to help Jesus focus solely on the Father.

    To me, that's what Lent is about - trying to turn my focus off of some things, so I can have God more as my focus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orable View Post
    Finally, do only Catholics get the ash crosses on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday or do other denominations do the same?
    Some other denominations do the same. I like this tradition a lot, and will probably attend Mass because of it - I will go to my church as well.

    Re: Good Friday service. I really love it in a way, all the sombreness. We never have the Veneration of the Cross, we sometimes see the bit in Passion of the Christ where Jesus is carrying the Cross etc. I find it humbling, and it does remind me of the sacrifice. I probably reflect more in the Good Friday service each year than any other service.

  4. #44
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    Angelskates reminded me about the Catholic Stations of the Cross, which I do like very much, especially the re-enactments. It's somber and repetitive, but also meditative and meaningful.


    Quote Originally Posted by sk8pics View Post
    Yes, and there are no "alleluia's" of any kind. The whole ambience is much more somber and serious.
    Just came back from Mass. We used to belong to this parish but I didn't like the liturgies, it always felt like I was going to a musical without the dancing or entertainment. Same thing tonight - they had enough music and singing for a High Mass, even a upbeat recessional song. I really think the music director runs the liturgy committee and she thinks they're putting on a show at every mass.

    I'm laughing at/with your post because this music director was once asked to include "Yahweh, I Know You Are Near" as a song, I think during Advent. She went off on a five-minute lecture on how you're not supposed to say the Name of God out loud, so she'll NEVER include that song. Okay, she gets the Jewish traditions right, but screws up the Catholic ones, lol Yep! Last night's service included "Allelulia, We Are Going to Meet the King" sung loud and clear. A big, happy spiritual! Maybe the restriction starts AFTER Ash Wednesday, I don't know, but I thought the tone was strange and I remember why we changed parishes. There's no procession - why are we singing a full four-stanza song with a three-piece combo band? ARRRGGGGHHH!


    OT: The couple behind us had three little boys under 5. They all had dinner with a lot of garlic and the kids kept purposely breathing on each other (and us.) I was laughing on the inside and trying to get some fresh air by leaning forward. My kids kept nudging me, thinking I was falling asleep, lol.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 03-10-2011 at 04:13 PM.

  5. #45

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    That's pretty funny, FigureSpins. Our liturgy director would have been over that song sung at Ash Wednesday.

    My problem last night was the guy behind me was singing very loudly and his timing was off a beat from the rest of us. Yes, we are a parish that likes to sing and it would be hard to shut us up, but do you really have to shout at the top of your lungs? Oh well.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    Re: Good Friday service. I really love it in a way, all the sombreness. We never have the Veneration of the Cross, we sometimes see the bit in Passion of the Christ where Jesus is carrying the Cross etc. I find it humbling, and it does remind me of the sacrifice. I probably reflect more in the Good Friday service each year than any other service.
    Good Friday and Holy Thursday are my two favorite liturgies of the [Catholic] year.

  7. #47
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    I like Advent and Christmas better than Lent and Easter. My favorite liturgies are always the Church's feast day celebrations, though. Doesn't matter what parish - it's a meaningful party at Mass! Lots of thought and creativity go into those liturgies.


    I changed my menu for last night. The market had beautiful green beans so we had pasta and green beans in tomato sauce for dinner. The tuna, mushroom soup and elbow macaroni's still sitting on the counter, calling me. I might make a small portion for lunch today or tomorrow.

    I just remember another bizarre thing that happened at this wierd church a few summers ago. There's a husband-and-wife team that are in the choir. They both cantor at masses, so we sometimes have a duet from the two of them. When they had a baby, the mother was holding the sleeping infant in the choir area next to the husband. He was cantoring, so he stood up to go to the Altar, but first he took the sleeping child from the mother so that he could hold him while he cantored! In doing so, he woke the child, who whimpered and whined through the Responsorial Psalms. All I could think of, for the entire Mass, was "Why?" I can't find a valid reason to stage that part of the "show," lol.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 03-10-2011 at 04:17 PM.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    Where I grew up, High Episcopalians also did ashes.

    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?
    I'm Muslim, so I'm v familiar with Ramadan - but I think my practice fasting was interfering with my understanding of the fast in the Christian tradition(s)! Thanks for answering my question

    Quote Originally Posted by Orable View Post
    The information in this thread is really neat! 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
    Thanks for all the responses in this thread, you guys. Wishing everyone who observes a reflective and meaningful Lenten season and joyous Easter.

  9. #49

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    How's everyone going? Week 1 has been hard, as usual! I haven't faltered though. I am not counting next Sunday since I am going out to a really posh buffet to celebrate my business stuff all coming through and the desserts are to die for. I won't binge, but I will celebrate well

    I do feel I'm getting something out of fasting already - spiritually, I am praying more (especially with the Japanese tragedy ) and spending more time in reflection.

    I've also got in touch with a friend who I had a falling out with about 18 months ago and we're meeting up on Saturday. I'm hoping we can either move past the falling out and keep our friendship, or end it understanding that it sometimes happens. At the moment, I just want to resolve things.

    Any prayer requests?

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    Good for you, Angelskates. I had a "fail" on day two, when I got fudge sauce on some vanilla ice cream (with oreo cookie crumbs). I gave up chocolate for Lent. Oops. Other than that, things are going okay.

  11. #51

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    I passed up the huge bowl of potato chips that was on the buffet table over the weekend. And yesterday at the grocery story I walked down the entire chips/snacks aisle and did not put a bag in my cart.

    So I'm doing good.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  12. #52
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    I gave up soda and have been doing well so far...even keeping a 12-pack of cans in the fridge and having to see it every time I open the fridge hasn't been that bad. The only time I caved is when I had a mixed drink over the weekend and it had a splash of orange soda in it. Otherwise, I'm sticking to my commitment.

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    So far, no fast food this Lent.

  14. #54

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    I decided to give up late nights! I've gone to bed at 11 sharp every night. And frankly, it's driving me NUTS. But the discipline is good for me.

    But again, I'm in awe of people who give up chocolate. I couldn't do it.

    Angelskates, if you wouldn't mind, I've got a couple of unspoken prayer requests. Thanks for asking. Do you have any?
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    Any prayer requests?
    Not for me. I've been adding something for the Japanese, though. A little divine intercession would be helpful right now.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post

    Any prayer requests?
    Since you asked, Angelskates--

    Four students at the school I used to teach at were in a serious car accident on Sunday evening. One was killed; one is in critical condition, one in fair condition. The fourth only had minor injuries.

    Please pray for them and their families. Particularly the "D" family who lost their son/brother. They are burying him tomorrow.

    Thank you!

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    I've given up chocolate, and for the most part it has gone well. However, my sister-in-law had us over for dinner last Saturday night and made chocolate cake for dessert! She didn't know and I didn't want to offend, so I had a little piece....

    And Angelskates, I do have as prayer request - for my son and daughter-in-law - long story, but they can really use prayer, as they're expecting baby #2 in about 8 weeks.

  18. #58

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    Ace - I've been adding those affected by the earthquake and tsunami to my daily prayers too.

    Wyliefan, PD and Marilou - prayers said.

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    Happy Palm Sunday! It was a beautiful day for a procession. It's tradition to make a cross out of palm and put it over each of the outside doors of your house. We have a little bundle of palm fronds saved for our cemetary visits later this week.

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    Holy Week, it's almost Easter! How's everyone's Lenten season been?

    I got a HUGE package full of Easter goodies that are waiting until Sunday. I ate my first hot cross bun today

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