The Lenten Life: Falling and Getting Back Up Again

A Catholic parish near our home features this on their home page, front and center: Lenten and Triduum regulations 2015These are the 2015 Lenten and Triduum regulations:FAST AND ABSTINENCEThe holy season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015.Masses on Ash Wednesday will be offered at 8 am 12:10 pm and 7 pm.Both Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, April 03, are days of abstinence from meat for all who are 14 years and older. They are also days of fast (one full meal … [Read more...]

Taking to the Street

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My friend and colleague, Kevin Martin, achieves "Onion-esque" success at his blogspot with a satire that raises a serious question.  What happens when we transplant liturgical acts and sacraments from sacred space to the public domain? Baptismal Font Goes on the MoveEven though heavily endowed, Grace Memorial Episcopal Church in Kelso, Ohio, a town just outside of Columbus is facing hard times.  The Rector, an Assisting Priest, and a Deacon have only three remaining Church members.  That is … [Read more...]

The Language of Lent: Repentance

Lent is making something of a comeback as Christians who historically have observed the season bump up against those who don’t in the blogosphere.  But the language of Lent, which is rooted in larger Christian practice, often makes people uncomfortable.Of the many words associated with Lent, “repentance” may actually qualify as one of the more underappreciated and misunderstood words.  The conversation about repentance with the larger culture and, for that matter, conversations with people wi … [Read more...]

When a Fast is not Fast

I realize that I risk appearing to be a "traditionalist" --- gasp! --- i.e., someone who believes that Lenten fasting has a specific purpose, defined by the history of its observance. But it does. Kallistos Ware puts it succinctly and accurately: "The primary aim of fasting is to make us conscious of our dependence upon God. If practiced seriously...The purpose of this [fasting from food] is to lead us in turn to a sense of inward brokenness and contrition; to bring us, that is, to the point … [Read more...]

Lent: It’s more fun and alleluias than you think

If you spend any time with social media, you probably noticed the number of Facebook postings that featured Puritan Valentine’s Day Cards.  The artwork wasn’t very elaborate, as should be the case with Puritan cards.  But I loved the sentiments.  One card read:“You’ve bewitched me.  There’s no other explanation for the gophers in my garden.”Another announced:“I thought to write you a love poem.  For that thought I have beaten myself with a rough branch each night hence.”And anothe … [Read more...]


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