Author Topic: Lent Etiquette  (Read 21844 times)

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QueenofAllThings

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #60 on: March 06, 2011, 10:32:16 AM »
My husband's church (he's the practicing Catholic, not me) strongly encourages people to give up intangibles, the argument being that it is much more of a sacrifice and life changing to do so.

In other words, give up complaining. Or criticizing. Or gossiping. Or watching p*rn. This is MUCH more difficult than giving up donuts or beer or candy - 'cause I've tried (just try to give up complaining for 40 days - it's very hard!)

I guess I better decide soon - Lent starts on Wednesday. Usually I give up watermelon (easy - since I hate watermelon and it's out of season) but this year I'm thinking it's time to be less facetious about it.

Thipu1

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #61 on: March 06, 2011, 11:28:05 AM »
That we were urged to do as well.

Going on a diet to lose weight during Lent wasn't considered a good thing because that was for your bodily good.  It wasn't for your spiritual good. 

Teaching yourself to be more quiet or more tolerant of others was considered the sort of denial appropriate for Lent.  In many cases that was a lot harder than giving up candy.

Xallanthia

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #62 on: March 07, 2011, 10:55:46 AM »
I was raised Catholic and in my household it was definitely cheating if you indulged on Sunday.  I never heard the whole exempltion on Sunday thing until I came here so it isn't somethign encouraged among all parishes.

This has been my experience as well.
But technically you can then start lent a week later, otherwise you have a 47 day period.

And this is why in the East (Orthodox), we count Sundays, but we don't count Holy Week.  Lent starts today for us (not Wednesday) and ends Lazarus Saturday (the day before Palm Sunday); then Holy Week is separate (but is still a fast).

But we don't practice "giving up something" for Lent; the church has a specific fasting regime which I think I discussed earlier in the thread.

The Opinionator

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #63 on: March 07, 2011, 11:14:44 AM »
...cut...
But we don't practice "giving up something" for Lent; the church has a specific fasting regime which I think I discussed earlier in the thread.
I remember it was strongly encouraged that people try to stop cursing and thinking bad thoughts as well giving up dancing and...um, Scrabble :). (This is all besides actual fasting.). I'd say there's a lot of giving up.

Edited to hopefully phrase my thoughts better.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 11:18:05 AM by Andra »
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Xallanthia

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #64 on: March 07, 2011, 11:24:31 AM »
...cut...
But we don't practice "giving up something" for Lent; the church has a specific fasting regime which I think I discussed earlier in the thread.
Most people I know that observe Orthodox Lent try to stop cursing and bad thoughts in general. I've also known people that give up dancing and...um, Scrabble so I'd say there is some giving up :). (This is all besides actual fasting.).

Yes, plenty of Orthodox do make additional sacrifices on top of the food fast (and the Scrabble fast is actually supposed to be part of the regimen but VERY difficult).  But when I was a protestant (and among Catholics I know) the question "What are you giving up for Lent?" (or "Are you giving up something for Lent?") was pretty common, which isn't true with my Orthodox friends.  It's assumed that you're keeping the food fast to the best of your ability (in consultation with your priest), and that you are praying more and coming to church more often.  Since I see that it was another thread that I must have mentioned it to, a great explaination of the strict fasting rules are available at Abba Moses.

The Opinionator

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #65 on: March 07, 2011, 11:34:25 AM »
Really? I always heard conversations amongst my friends about what they were giving up for Lent (for the record, I was baptised Orthodox and lived in a country where it's the primary religion until I was 21). I even remember it being brought up in religion class. It's probably just one of those things that are different due to geographic area or something.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Xallanthia

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #66 on: March 07, 2011, 12:08:41 PM »
Really? I always heard conversations amongst my friends about what they were giving up for Lent (for the record, I was baptised Orthodox and lived in a country where it's the primary religion until I was 21). I even remember it being brought up in religion class. It's probably just one of those things that are different due to geographic area or something.

Hah--what I was told when I converted (and everything I've read) is that some people have borrowed the practice from the Catholic church; with any priest I know they would only take issue with it if you were doing that *instead* of following the food fast to the best of your ability.  Then again it might be a good idea to mention for children who are young enough to be exempt from the fasting rule.  I've given some thought to what I could fast from if I get pregnant (red meat for one).  But yes, among my adult friends (cradle and convert) no one talks about "giving up X" though with close friends we sometimes do discuss our specific fasting disciplines (mostly to share recipes).

The Opinionator

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #67 on: March 07, 2011, 12:23:14 PM »
I always thought it was part of the cleansing aspect of Lent, for the same reasons you're supposed to spring clean.

On your kids comment-that was the way it was handled before I was old enough to fast. I had to pick something to give up as well as my grandmother (who I lived with) discouraging frivolous fun like music and non-religious books. Nothing too scarring, just enough to understand the idea of giving things up. It's not like anyone is going to ask a 6 year old to give up cursing ;).

I'm finding this conversation fascinating  :). Thank you for sharing your experiences.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Nibsey

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #68 on: March 07, 2011, 03:41:23 PM »
I was raised Catholic and in my household it was definitely cheating if you indulged on Sunday.  I never heard the whole exempltion on Sunday thing until I came here so it isn't somethign encouraged among all parishes.

This has been my experience as well.

What about St Patricks day?  :)
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Mazdoy

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #69 on: March 07, 2011, 03:43:12 PM »
I was raised Catholic and in my household it was definitely cheating if you indulged on Sunday.  I never heard the whole exempltion on Sunday thing until I came here so it isn't somethign encouraged among all parishes.

This has been my experience as well.

What about St Patricks day?  :)

I used to love that exemption!

Fleur-de-Lis

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #70 on: March 07, 2011, 03:51:21 PM »
As a non-catholic, but a medieval recreationist, I periodically observe Lent. 

I found that giving up something was much easier than adopting a healthy habit. 

I also kept my observation well within the scope of what I considered achievable - I didn't give up coffee or chocolate.

One year, I tried "eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day."

Total fail.  Maybe I will try again this year, with scaled down expectations.   

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Sharnita

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #71 on: March 07, 2011, 05:16:03 PM »
I was raised Catholic and in my household it was definitely cheating if you indulged on Sunday.  I never heard the whole exempltion on Sunday thing until I came here so it isn't somethign encouraged among all parishes.

This has been my experience as well.

What about St Patricks day?  :)

If it is during Lent your obligations apply.  I was never taught anything different and did not see anybody I know make exceptions.  It seems a bit strange to me that people would claim that to honor a saint they'd be less religiously observant than normal.

Poirot

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #72 on: March 07, 2011, 05:27:42 PM »
I was raised Catholic and in my household it was definitely cheating if you indulged on Sunday.  I never heard the whole exempltion on Sunday thing until I came here so it isn't somethign encouraged among all parishes.

This has been my experience as well.

What about St Patricks day?  :)

If it is during Lent your obligations apply.  I was never taught anything different and did not see anybody I know make exceptions.  It seems a bit strange to me that people would claim that to honor a saint they'd be less religiously observant than normal.

Different diocese make different rules for St. Pat's day. Here it is a day off from food fasting.
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Nibsey

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #73 on: March 07, 2011, 05:32:49 PM »
I was raised Catholic and in my household it was definitely cheating if you indulged on Sunday.  I never heard the whole exempltion on Sunday thing until I came here so it isn't somethign encouraged among all parishes.

This has been my experience as well.

What about St Patricks day?  :)

If it is during Lent your obligations apply.  I was never taught anything different and did not see anybody I know make exceptions.  It seems a bit strange to me that people would claim that to honor a saint they'd be less religiously observant than normal.

Not here in Ireland, St Patricks day is a solemnity so lent is exempt. Your not being less religious by celebrating a solemnity, it's a day of obligation so you still have to go to mass. For example, if a monk took a vow of silence he can break that vow on Christmas day. It's not less religious to celebrate a principle holy day.

I thought I remembered reading once that Bishops in the US could also give dispensation for example fasting on a solemnity. Didn't they do that one year when St Patricks fell on a Friday?

ETA: Thanks Poirot, We posted at the same time. :)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 05:34:20 PM by Nibsey »
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Xallanthia

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Re: Lent Etiquette
« Reply #74 on: March 07, 2011, 05:48:29 PM »
I was raised Catholic and in my household it was definitely cheating if you indulged on Sunday.  I never heard the whole exempltion on Sunday thing until I came here so it isn't somethign encouraged among all parishes.

This has been my experience as well.

What about St Patricks day?  :)

If it is during Lent your obligations apply.  I was never taught anything different and did not see anybody I know make exceptions.  It seems a bit strange to me that people would claim that to honor a saint they'd be less religiously observant than normal.

Not here in Ireland, St Patricks day is a solemnity so lent is exempt. Your not being less religious by celebrating a solemnity, it's a day of obligation so you still have to go to mass. For example, if a monk took a vow of silence he can break that vow on Christmas day. It's not less religious to celebrate a principle holy day.

I thought I remembered reading once that Bishops in the US could also give dispensation for example fasting on a solemnity. Didn't they do that one year when St Patricks fell on a Friday?

ETA: Thanks Poirot, We posted at the same time. :)

Just as we are supposed to fast when the rule is to fast, many monks and spiritual fathers will tell you: you shouldn't fast on a feast day! 

Most traditions have exceptions for particular feasts.  St. Patrick's (pretty much?) always occurrs during Lent.  So does Annunciation.  Many churches except St. Patrick's from the fast and every church that fasts relaxes its rule for Annunciation.