What are you giving up?

24 02 2009

from mikeanderson.net

from mikeanderson.net

Today is Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras (whoo!), which makes tomorrow Ash Wednesday- the beginning of Lent. A couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about what I could give up for Lent. Am I Catholic? No, but I know that lots of people who aren’t do practice it. And besides, I think it’s a good opportunity to attempt to give up things that aren’t necessarily good. (FYI: I’m going to try soda. And if you know anything about me, you know this won’t be a piece of cake. I’m literally addicted to caffeine).



Anyway, so what is Lent? It’s the forty day period before Easter, not including Sundays. It’s a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the arrival of Easter; it’s a time for contemplation and self-assessment.


Historically, Lent was an occasion to get new converts ready for baptism; now, Christians focus on their relationship with God, frequently deciding to give up something (food, a vice), volunteering or giving of themselves to others.


The forty days of Lent symbolizes the time Jesus spent in the wilderness while facing Satan’s temptations. The reason Sundays are not included is that each Sunday symbolizes a kind of a “mini-Easter celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.”


In many places, the last day before Lent- often known as Mardi Gras, Carnival, or Fat Tuesday- has become a last hurrah before Lent. For hundreds of years, people abstained from meat during Lent, which is why some call the festival Carnival, Latin for farewell to meat.


This year, Lent is from February 25-April 11, the day before Easter.


Sources: http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?ptid=1&mid=2870








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