GIVING SOMETHING UP FOR LENT

Perhaps you have heard of people “giving something up for Lent” or perhaps have practiced that yourself. (I always gave up candy for Lent when I was a kid. -rby+)  What is that about?
Abstaining from something such as red meat or candy (or Twitter -rby+) is a means of sharing in the fast of Jesus in the wilderness. Its significance is a vital reminder or dependence upon God. Another aspect of the Lenten fast is to practice is to abstain from meat and alcohol on certain days, particularly Ash Wednesday and each Friday of Lent (Friday as a remembrance of Good Friday).

Of course, you may have heard of the Sunday exception to the fast. It is not uncommon for people to indulge on Sundays in Lent, perhaps enjoying the Hershey bar that was given up. The reason is that Sundays are not days of Lent. Each Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, and thus each is a little Easter. This is true. Count from Ash Wednesday to Easter and you will get more than 40. You have to omit the Sundays in order to make it work. It is for this reason we refer to these Sundays as Sundays “in Lent” and not Sundays “of Lent.” (Episcopalians love liturgical minutiae.). But even if you practice the Sunday exception in Lent, don’t go overboard. If you have given up chocolate for Lent, Sunday is not the time for a chocolate fountain with fresh strawberries.