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Do you observe Lent?

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  • Do you observe Lent?

    We're coming up to the home stretch now, but I didn't know until recently that not all Christians observe Lent. Lent's the period of 40 days between Shrove Tuesday and Easter, traditionally marked by fasting but now more often marked by giving something up for the period. This year I gave up sweets, which is comparatively easy, but I have heard of rarer ones including a friend who gave up being asthmatic - she didn't give up the disease but she gave up letting it control her or be part of her identity. (The vicar did approve: he said that offering suffering on the alter was quite traditional).

    Did you give up anything for Lent this year, or have any unusual ways to mark it that you know of?

  • #2
    I don't know too many protestants that actually observe Lent. I have met some, but they are few and far between. This is usually something that is observed by catholics.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by ChatterBox
      We're coming up to the home stretch now, but I didn't know until recently that not all Christians observe Lent. Lent's the period of 40 days between Shrove Tuesday and Easter, traditionally marked by fasting but now more often marked by giving something up for the period. This year I gave up sweets, which is comparatively easy, but I have heard of rarer ones including a friend who gave up being asthmatic - she didn't give up the disease but she gave up letting it control her or be part of her identity. (The vicar did approve: he said that offering suffering on the alter was quite traditional).

      Did you give up anything for Lent this year, or have any unusual ways to mark it that you know of?

      I gave up sweets one year too! I didn't participate this year though. The practice of Lent has never been emphasized at any Church I've attended, but I've participated just in hopes it'd bring me closer to God.

      Speaking of Easter... I'm really looking forward to my Church's Good Friday and Easter services more than anything else :)
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Knotical View Post
        I don't know too many protestants that actually observe Lent. I have met some, but they are few and far between. This is usually something that is observed by catholics.
        The Church of England traditionally observes it, and has done for years. Apparently the Protestant churches are about 50/50 on whether they observe it or not.

        This year the CofE did a study on what people give up, and the results are interesting (I've linked the article below). Between 20% and 30% of the general population observe it. This year they even launched a Lent app, which I think is a little too modern for me!
        Around one in five adults is preparing to observe the season of Lent when it gets underway on Wednesday.
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        • #5
          I used to observe Lent but I quit a long time ago. I guess you could say that I give up Lent every year. :)
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
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          • #6
            I've heard about Lent. It isn't something I practice though. Like Knotical I thought this was more of a catholic thing.

            Some people seem to give up their "favorite sins" during Lent. Aren't we supposed to try to do that all the time?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by thisnthat View Post
              I've heard about Lent. It isn't something I practice though. Like Knotical I thought this was more of a catholic thing.

              Some people seem to give up their "favorite sins" during Lent. Aren't we supposed to try to do that all the time?
              That is pretty much why most protestants don't observe it, since we are supposed to work on moving sin out of our lives altogether, not just "be good for 40 days." It is really just a bad cycle to get into, especially for those who "live it up" on Fat Tuesday, then start giving things up for the following 40 days.
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              • #8
                I think I came off sounding a bit harsher than I intended to do. I'm not trying to judge anyone, but that's just what my observation was with some people.

                Yes, I almost feel like some people think they have .. permission... to live it up and then "purge" for a bit over a month afterward. I could see myself getting into lots of trouble with a cycle like that.

                I have a hard enough time doing what I'm supposed to do from one day to another.
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                • #9
                  I am a Catholic and I observe Lent. I used to fast for 40 days but this year I am fasting only on Wednesdays and Fridays. I have also given up non-veg this year and every year I do the same. I was born Catholic and have been taught to observe Lent since childhood.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by anupamas2 View Post
                    I am a Catholic and I observe Lent. I used to fast for 40 days but this year I am fasting only on Wednesdays and Fridays. I have also given up non-veg this year and every year I do the same. I was born Catholic and have been taught to observe Lent since childhood.
                    So, is it more of a ritual or does it really mean something to you? If it does have meaning to you personally, can you explain it a little, please? I'm genuinely curious about how it makes you feel.

                    It seems like some folks just go through the motions (of course, that can be true of any religion).
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