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Old 02-16-2018, 10:25 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Originally Posted by senoy View Post
Heh, as a United Methodist, I would say that fasting from food is much admired and rarely practiced. I don't even recall the last time I heard a minister mention a food fast. When we are told to abstain, it's generally from negative things, like abstaining from arguing on Facebook or making political points on message boards (I'm not doing that one this year. )These days the emphasis is on 'active Lent' where you do something good rather than abstain from something bad. So, volunteer at a soup kitchen once a week, or visit a nursing home every Saturday, or donate to the local animal shelter, or even call your mom more. This year, our Ash Wednesday service was about the opioid epidemic and what we can do over Lent to help those in recovery, so the conference seems to be pushing that.
Thank you, senoy; in that context, an Ash Wednesday potluck makes a lot more sense.

As for my comment about fish fries, they're supposed to be about austerity and asceticism, but in practice, they never work out that way. My church even goes so far as to call it a "fisherman's feast". I guess at some point it's just something we do because we've always done it.
  #52  
Old 02-16-2018, 11:16 AM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is offline
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
The one I've wondered about w.r.t Catholics is how they reconcile calling their priests "Father" with the words of Jesus in Matthew 23:9 ("And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.") Although, taken completely literally, this would seem to forbid using the word "father" about one's biological human father, too.
IIRC, (and I am Lutheran, so I could be way off base) Catholics consider Priests to stand in for God, as a mediator between God and man. Also, IIRC, this title arose very early in Christianity.

As to the OP, I received ashes as well and wore them to dinner afterwards (which was my first meal of the day - Lutherans may fast but are not required to do so). I have always read the passage, which btw is also always the Gospel reading for Ash Wednesday, as not to pray in public for the reason of being praised by others. If you are doing it because you want to give thanks to God or to witness to others, that isn't just ok, but a good thing to do.
  #53  
Old 02-16-2018, 11:50 AM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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I used to have a priest who would address this every Ash Wednesday. He basically said that everyone always wonders whether they should wash their forehead after the imposition of ashes or not. His advice was just for them to decide what they were more comfortable with - and then do the opposite.

Feeling a little bit awkward and conspicuous walking around with dirt smudged on your forehead? Good, keep it there. Kind of proud of it, hoping people will ask what it's about? Wash it off.
  #54  
Old 02-16-2018, 12:49 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by Skammer View Post
I used to have a priest who would address this every Ash Wednesday. He basically said that everyone always wonders whether they should wash their forehead after the imposition of ashes or not. His advice was just for them to decide what they were more comfortable with - and then do the opposite.

Feeling a little bit awkward and conspicuous walking around with dirt smudged on your forehead? Good, keep it there. Kind of proud of it, hoping people will ask what it's about? Wash it off.
Didn't Jesus say something about cutting off your arm if it does things that are offensive to God? Perhaps if the ashes are causing you a problem, you can cut off your head.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:20 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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A lot of Religions have putting or smearing something on your face and/or facial markings as part of ritual and custom. I'm not really bothered by any of it. Showing your religion like that isn't proselytizing, it is just participating in a ritual. You can only be offended by that if you believe the world owes you protection even from exposure to religion.

Though in many other activities, the performer is deliberately seeking public recognition as a believer by others. For respect and reputation. They quite literally are getting their (desired) reward on Earth rather than Heaven.

Of course, that's the same reason con men do it too. After all, no one is going to be cheated by a devout man of the faith, right?
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