Okay, guys- we have all heard the thousand very funny comments about giving up Christianity for Lent. Please refrain from rehashing. This is for people who do observe Lent, all right?
For me- I’m not sure. I’ve given up the internet, food out, and meat before. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of weeks, and haven’t come to firm conclusions yet. I might try to get to daily Mass (with my toddler) at least once a week (which seems pretty penitential- very active toddler). We haven’t gone on a weekday since he was born. I’m thinking about Psalm reading, structured prayer, and rosaries, baking for the homeless guys in the neighbourhood, and giving up sugar.
I’m thinking about giving up refined sugar for the 40 days of lent, and maybe trying vegan+fish diet on Tuesdays and Fridays.
I’d like to give up being a big ol’slacker lazy-butt, but I think sugar will be easier.
Freudian Slit - You can give up (or alternately, pledge to do) whatever is meaningful for you. one year I gave up eating out for lunch, brown bagged it and donated the savings to the soup kitchen. You gave chose to pray the rosary every night, or read the lives of the saints (always lurid!) I used to have a priest who gave up smoking every Lent (unfiltered Camels) only to pick it right up again. And the movie 40 Days and 40 Nights (or something like that) is where the young man gave up sex.
I took up being a better housekeeper for one Lent. It was very very penitential. I gave up the internet a couple of years ago, ditto. Lots of people drop one thing, and take up one other thing, like, give up swearing and volunteer at a homeless shelter, or soup kitchen, or commit to more daily prayer. So you can do all sorts of things for Lent. Some of the churches that observe it have dietary rules about Lent- the Eastern Orthodox are harcore (practically vegan and no oil), Catholics just don’t eat meat on Fridays and fast on Good Friday.
Thanks, jali, It’s really good of you to apologize.
I think I’ll do daily Mass once a week (pray for me). We’re thinking about giving up eating out or ordering in, as well. Still thinking, though.
Yes. I know a lot of people who give up television, for example. Sometimes they use their “television time” to study, or play games with their kids. Another common give-up is caffeine, with a promise to donate the coffee money to a good cause.
Last year a friend of mine gave up driving her car, in an attempt to get her temper under control. It did help some.
For many-but-not-all, the point of a modern lent is to give up something that gets between you and G-d. So you give it up, in hope that every time you are tempted to do that thing, you’ll think about G-d instead.
That’s one of the reasons I can’t stand that movie. Giving up something that’s a sin to begin with?? Arg.
Anyhoo, I already have a lot of food issues and am trying to follow a food plan throughout the year, so I don’t tend to think in that direction for Lent, other than the fasting and abstinence part. I always think about going to daily Mass and may have to go at least once a week during Lent.
I’m giving up shopping for everything except groceries and absolute household necessities (soap, tp, etc.). No clothes, no shoes, no makeup, no books, no DVDs, no iTunes, no fun! No even going to look at things in stores!
I’ve done it once before for Lent, a few years ago. I saved a bunch of money, some of which I gave to charity and the rest which went in savings. It was part of a decluttering initiative, and it worked pretty well, at least for…a few years. Which is why I’m doing it again this year.
Oh, and because I had to Google it myself, Ash Wednesday is Feb. 25th this year. If you need to find me on the 24th, I’ll be in Borders.
I have given up alcohol, but I don’t drink as much as I used to so it won’t be as big of a deal.
Some years I have given up all caffeine (sodas, tea and coffee). That was both a minor bit of suffering and a constant reminder.
This year I am considering TV, but I again do not watch that much.
aside - I am not Catholic, but I find the ritual to be helpful.
Vox Imperatoris, I’m Episcopalian, and we definitely observe Lent. Some Protestants are more liturgically oriented than others, and will, or won’t make a big deal out of Lent. I grew up Lutheran, a very conservative branch of it, and we observed Lent, having extra church services and so on. But we generally didn’t “do stuff” for Lent, because that, gasp, would have been Catholics!
I’ll be doing my usual, giving up meat. I’m a carnivore from the word go, and this gives me a constant reminder, by doing a relatively easy thing, what a hard thing was done for me.
I believe that certain Protestant denominations find it too ritualistic and without Biblical precedent, but others do not. I grew up in one of the former churches (an evangelical-ish one), but I now consider myself Anglican and find it meaningful.
I’m having a tough time deciding what to give up since I’m going to be in Europe for research for most of Lent. To be honest, I don’t want to give up shopping for non-essentials, because I would then never have a souvenir of my first (and who knows, maybe only) trip to Paris. I was planning to give up meat, but I’m not sure I’ll have the resources to begin a vegetarian diet there. (And I’ve already recently stopped eating pork, so while delicious bacon would be a good one, that’s already gone…:()
I haven’t had any alcohol since Christmas, so I’m not sure that’s a great sacrifice. And I’ve been dieting since the New Year, so I’ve already given up most sweets! The internet would be obvious, but I won’t have time or the opportunity for non-essential internet use, and I’ll of course need library catalogues and email and such.
Perhaps pop, including all diet forms. I also plan to attend mass in a historic church every week (why pay to visit churches, when you can do it for free? :D) even though I won’t be able to receive communion as I’m not Catholic.