Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday Five: What are you Doing for Lent?

This comes via Diane at Faith in Community:

Friday Five: What are you Doing for Lent?
Mother Laura from over at Revgals says: Ready or not, Lent is upon us! And asks us to consider these questions:

1. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras and/or Ash Wednesday this week? How?
I spent the evening of Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday in my first Russian class. Our church had a Mardi Gras-themed dinner the previous Saturday as a fund raiser to send some youths on pilgrimage this summer. There was an art auction and also some great music performed by a group including two of our choir members.

I preached and presided at midday Mass on Ash Wednesday at San Gabriel Mission.

2. What was your most memorable Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday/Lent?
Two Ash Wednesdays come to mind. On one I arrived at church early in the morning to get ready for the first of three services that day. Paramedics were at a house across the street where a parishioner lived. She was being taken to a nearby hospital. I quickly gave ashes and communion from the reserved sacrament to one person who'd shown for that service, then dashed off to the hospital. Ashes were too late for the lady across the street. She died that day.

The other was the morning after my ex told me our life together was over. I told only one member of the congregation what had happened. I normally choose the Isaiah option for the first lesson on Ash Wednesday but that morning I "accidentally" read from Joel. I preached about God's abiding presence when the world as we know it seems to be coming to an end. As we journeyed toward Jerusalem and the Cross we were also on our way toward Resurrection. Several people noted the passion in my preaching that day.

3. Did you/your church/your family celebrate Lent as a child? If not, when and how did you discover it?
My Baptist family or church? Not! But I had a sacramental and mystical streak in me that yearned for something the Catholics had and we did not. In high school I went to the Catholic Church on Ash Wednesday and got ashes. (Also to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.)

4. Are you more in the give-up camp, or the take-on camp, or somewhere in between?
I am in the slow down, de-clutter your life, and fall in love with God again camp. Not that I am any good at doing any of those three things. While serving parishes I felt that if I could guide the congregation through a good Lent then that was discipline enough.

I believe most of our giving up is superficial, often silly, and self-deluding and would vote for giving up despising ourselves. That might go a long way toward re-learning to love God and others.

5. How do you plan to keep Lent this year?
Resuming what I did during Advent: writing daily reflections here based on the Daily Office lessons appointed for each day. Alas, this is, for me, probably a superficial and self-deluding way to avoid doing something more radical and life-transforming. It does, however, require an effort and, by sharing it with others, makes me accountable to the blog community to do it.

--the BB


Jane R said...

I am in the slow down, de-clutter your life, and fall in love with God again camp. Not that I am any good at doing any of those three things.

I'm with you on all of the above, BB...

Diane said...

I would love to declutter my life. Although I am reading a book that is allowing me to love my clutter, a little. And giving up despising ourselves? Wow

Kirstin said...

I am in the slow down, de-clutter your life, and fall in love with God again camp.

I'm there--but I'm no good at doing it.

FranIAm said...

What Jane, Diane and Kirsten said. Reading those words I felt my heart flutter.

Thank you.

I also appreciated your replies to number 2... especially the more personal of them.

Kirstin said...


Jane R said...

Here, briefly in the Comments section. (Thanks to Sharecropper.)