As a Methodist I was taught to observe Lent by giving something up. I was taught this from a young age and never really thought about it. As I have gotten older it seems to be a primarily Catholic thing. Are there any other Protestants out there who were taught this way?
I’m a “cradle” Episcopalian, and we were taught to give up something for Lent. As a child I usually gave up candy or chocolate. On Sundays during Lent, we were permitted to indulge in the given-up items, because Sunday is never supposed to be a fast day.
Now I’m married to a Catholic, who says that the whole Sunday-in-Lent thing is “Lent for weenies” and that HE was required to maintain the giving-up for the entire 40 days.
Another Methodist Lent observer here. I get a lot of people who look at me funny every year and say, “I didn’t know you were Catholic” but we have observed Lent since I was a kid, and they talk about it in my church.
Lutheran here. Catholic Lite™ — “All of the grace, only 1/3 of the guilt!”[sup]©[/sup]
While I wasn’t ‘taught’ about fasting for Lent (wasn’t raised in a church, started attending an Episcopal church in high school), I have adopted the practice. Admittedly, my practice isn’t perfect - I am a rather poor observer of whatever I’m fasting.
This year I might start reading some Scripture every night, rather than giving up an indulgence. I think getting into that practice might benefit me more than abstaining from chocolate, or whatever.
Another Methodist–yes, I “observed” Lent, if that is the proper word for giving up something that wasn’t central to my life, when I was growing up. (Best example–I was asked during Sunday School if I was giving up anything for Lent, and I brightly answered, “Yes, pizza.” I think the teacher would have been less impressed if she had known I couldn’t stand pizza at the time.)
I’m an Episcopalian, and growing up, we were supposed to give up something for lent. We didn’t get no namby-pamby Sunday Dispensation either.
With my current parish, also Episcopalian, there is little or no emphasis on giving up something for lent.
I get a lot of funny looks and people saying “But you’re not Catholic.”. That is what led me to ask.
I generally give up chocolate. But after doing that for several years I am beginning to think that it is too easy. I am going to try to think of something new for next year. My husband and son suggested I give up the internet but no point in setting myself up to fail.
I really like the idea of reading Scripture every night. I might try that too.
Former Lutheran. I used to give up something for Lent when I was a kid (Sundays, too–never heard of that exception before…). I also, for a brief time, fasted on Fridays, eating only dinner. The giving-up rule was widely practiced (poss. b/c I came from a predominantly Catholic area); the fasting was a new thing our new Pastor, who was High Church, as they say, introduced. Even the Catholics in my area didn’t do that.
My mother-in-law, a very devout Catholic, fasts (on Fridays?), gives up something, and tries her best to avoid all indulgences–no sweets of any kind, etc. She’s hard-core.
Mrs. Kunilou was born and raised Lutheran and they were very big on Lent – not just giving stuff up, but special church services, etc.
Episcopalian here - all of the ritual, none of the guilt!
My parish church stresses doing something additional for Lent, rather than giving something up. For example, during Lent we are asked to attend an midweek morning or evening prayer pray service, or to participate in a Lent Bible discussion group, or to attend a special Wednesday evening Lent communion service. This request is taken pretty seriously.
I cannot remember the last time we were asked to give anything up.
I ran into a very active Catholic friend this morning after I went to the Ash Wednesday service. Our priest gave us little ash spots on the forehead. My Catholic friend said ‘What kind of weenie little Protestant ash-smudge is that on your forehead - we Catholics get big honkin’ CROSSES! You wuss!’
I am another Episcopalian, and the only thing that seperates us from Catholics was a randy English King from hundreds of years ago. My family has always given up something for Lent. In my childhood chocholate, cartoons, and ice cream were the things I would typically give up, but now I am giving up playing Battlefield 1942 and Counterstrike. Given that I normally play those games for 4 hours a day, I can now catch up on my reading the Bible.
The parishes I’ve been at (I’m Catholic) usually ended up with a pretty minimal smudge…until this year. They were having lay people assist with the ashes at the on-campus Mass today at noon, and I got a very heavy handed fella - next to my winter-pale skin, it stood out from a block away, I figure. And this was no small thing either…a good inch and half top to bottom and side to side.
Not that I mind the ashes on my head…but I did head to the restroom in the library after Mass and take of some of the excess - there was so much that it was falling down into my eyes and irritating my contacts.
I grew up as a Lutheran in Buffalo, New York. Pretty much, Catholicism in Buffalo is akin to the Mormon faith in Salt Lake City; it’s the dominant religion by what seems like several orders of magnitude, and it’s an integral, inseparable part of the local culture.
Not only did I celebrate Lent when I was a kid, but I also celebrated Ash Wednesday. That’s right … Lutheran kid with ashes on his forehead all day.
I grew up Lutheran, and now I’m Methodist, and we always observed Lent by doing something that was designed to focus our attention on God during the season. Since the theme of Lent is God’s sacrifice for us, it made some sense to sacrifice something for Him, but that wasn’t necessary. Doing additional works of charity or spending more time in spiritual pursuits was encouraged as well. I don’t remember having ashes in our Lutheran church, but then again, I’m not sure my mother took us to Ash Wednesday services. I do recall participating in the yearly prayer vigil from Maundy Thursday until Easter morning. Our Methodist church uses ashes, the product of the palm fronds used in the previous year’s Palm Sunday services.
My ten-year-old, who can focus more easily on tangible things, says she’s giving up T.V. (I pointed out that it’s forty days, but she’s determined; we may end up using that Sunday dispensation). My thirteen-year-old didn’t tell me what she’s doing (my baby is growing up), and I’ve resolved to curb my tendency towards self-righteousness and anger, especially when driving.
When is Easter again?