Ok. Lent starts Monday, March 6th for us Byzantine Catholics.The Latin Rite holds of 'til Ash Wednesday, March 8th. I think the Eastern Orthodox Churhes start Lent a week after the rest of us do.
I have decided… one of my supervisors at work, a lot of you already know about this, anyhoo, I have a terrible crush on him. I have decided that, outside of the bare minimum of conversation it takes to be able to perform my job effectively, I’m not going to talk to him from March 6th until Easter. I do have a backup penance planned in case I can’t hold out- anytime I have a non-work related conversation with him, however brief, I’m going to put a five-dollar bill in an envelope to give to an as yet undertimined charity. (This could end up costing me some real bucks, but it would be for a good cause.)
So, what I want to know is, what are you Catholics and Orthodox Christians giving up for Lent this year? And am I the only one giving up a person?
The trouble with Sir Launcelot is by the time he comes riding up, you’ve already married King Arthur.
Tom: I suspect you’ll read this thread, and I have a question that I know you can answer. What is the exact purpose of Lent? Here’s my understanding of it: You give something up, from Ash Wednesday, until Easter. Most people give up meat, and only refrain from eating it on Fridays. Are you supposed to pray on that day, or do something “holy?”
I don’t really give up anything for Lent. I do the usual fasting and abstinence that’s required. I’m not sure if it’s a rule or tradition. Then again, I spent a lot of time sleeping through six years of Catholic school and smoking in the restrooms. I might’ve missed a few lessons during my teenage preparation for Purgatory.
If it’s a real rule in the Roman Catholic Church, all I can say is “oops”. Cheval Bleu
Finishing up 100,000 Hail Marys
along with some frozen Margaritas
I don’t know how long I’ll hold out, but I’m going to try to give up processed sugar (you know, like table sugar, brown sugar, manmade stuff). I never thought about giving up a person. Hmmmmm. Interesting! Who will help me when I stumble??? Sodas will be the hardest of all for me to give up. But, hey, my waistline and scales will thank me I’m sure.
Life is teaching you some painful lessons. But it is from adversity that strength is born. You may have lost the inning, but I know you’ll win the game.
Being a Catholic (albeit an unconfirmed one), I am giving up pop, which is my big guilty pleasure. I don’t drink it as often as I used to, but I’m hoping Lent will extinguish it from my appitite. Chocolate is another. I have a period of time from right before Christmas until right after Valentine’s where I can’t get enough chocolate. I have yet to come up with a pennance for myself, but I like your idea, agisofia, about the $5.
I usually give up meat, and if I do have to cheat I try to make it chicken or turkey that I am cheating with.
I am not catholic, I just like the excuse of giving up meat. Sure I can’t go the entire time without cheating a few times, but atleast I know I spent a lot of time being healthier. I always hope it will spawn into first a week longer than lent, and then a month. Hasn’t happened yet though.
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” --Whitman
As I am often, or was up until last year, surrounded by quite a few very religiou people, I was always asked what I was giving up for lent. Since I’m an athiest, I just always responded with “prayer”. It’s interesting how quickly people learned to top asking…
I was going to post something smartass but true (caviar; love it but rarely have it) and then really read the OP.
Not a Catholic so this is purely uninformed, but willingly giving up something dear isn’t an unusual concept. The ideas of sacrifice and paying honor are ones to be valued.
FWIW, I’m an agnostic (willing to belive but don’t know enough to get pissy about details) who recognizes the need for homage. I really like the simple Christian prayer, “Thank you for all the blessings I’ve done nothing to deserve” and some of the Native American prayers that encompass all of everday life. Taking time to celebrate, reflect and say a simple thank-you for life is pretty great.
Sorry, wandered away from the OP but a sincere and respectful nod to y’all.
Penance. Sacrifice. Preparation for Easter. Baptism*.
The Lenten Sacrifice is not the same thing as giving up meat. The Lenten Sacrifice is decided on by the individual. Meatless Fridays is supposed to be observed by all Catholics, over I forget what age. The Ash Wednesday and Good Friday fasting is supposed to be observed by all Catholics over 14.
*Androgogy, “Lent”, Rev. George Dyer, which I have a copy of, discusses the baptism of converts as the original theme of Lent, replaced by a theme of penance around the 5th century as infant baptisms became common. I’m not typing it in, though, because it’s too long.
The specific Lenten sacrifice (“giving something up for Lent”) isn’t required, but is customary and probably observed by most practicing Catholics. I usually give up something that I’m sure I’ll miss every day, but haven’t decided yet for this year. Many folks also add a religious observance – daily Mass, an extra prayer period. Even more people increase their gifts to charity, since almsgiving is a longstanding part of the Lenten preparation for Easter.