Feb 09

Christian Lenten Practices

It is Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday depending on where you live. One thing is the same, and that is that this Tuesday marks the beginning of Lent and the start of many Christian Lenten Practices.

So What does that actually mean? What is Lent and why is it important? what does it mean to the average Christian?

Rediscover Lent

Lots of questions and I will try to explain, as well as I understand it (Lent) in my life?

Lent starts the day after Pancake Tuesday and it is the first days of fasting and abstinence for Christians. It is also called Ash Wednesday, in the Catholic church. Many people will go to mass on Ash Wednesday. The priest or Deacon after mass will “sign” people with a cross marked on their foreheads in ashes. These ashes are made from the ashes of left over palms from last year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.

Lent and Easter Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen: Daily Scripture and Prayers Together with Nouwen’s Own Words (Lent & Easter Wisdom)

What is the significance of this ‘blessing’? Basically it is a reminder for us that our earthly lives are not forever. We are made for a life with Christ in heaven. It also signifies that we are not to become too attached to this world. We have a time of 40 days, to renew our spirits, pray, do acts of kindness and help the poor. It is part of our preparation for the Great Mystery of Easter, the Celebration of the Promises of the Bible being fulfilled.

Christian Lent Practices are all geared to making us more spiritually aware of what we need to do, to be worthy participants in the salvation promised us by God.

Bringing Lent Home with Mother Teresa: Prayers, Reflections, and Activities for Families

Prayers, fasting and abstinence are all ways in which to deny ourselves and make sacrifices for our betterment and the betterment of the whole world. It is a journey, come and journey with me!

Lenten Prayers for Busy People: A Forty-Day Retreat Wherever You Happen to Be

Our Journey begins Shrove Tuesday night and continues until the Glorious Feast of Easter, again, I invite you to come journey with me!

Christian Lenten Practices
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Christian Lenten Practices
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of our Lenten journey towards Easter, come join me on the journey.
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Grammie O's Newsletter
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  1. Wednesday Elf

    This is really an interesting article. There were some things about Lent I never really understood either.. For instance, I found it very interesting to learn that the ashes used at mass on Ash Wednesday are made from the ashes of left over palms from last year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.

    Funny story – I wasn’t raised Catholic and as a small child I wasn’t aware of the symbolism of the ash Cross on the forehead. One evening I watched a scary movie (no idea today what it was) that had people marked for death by a cross placed on their forehead. The next day at school I saw all these kids with cross marks on their heads and I was ‘terrified’. Luckily my parents explained this to me. And suggested I not watch scary movies anymore ~ or at least realize the movies weren’t real! 🙂

    1. GrammieOlivia

      Oh that is too funny Miss Elf! I can just imagine your horror! When I was little, our priest took great delight in making the crosses on our foreheads almost as big as our whole forehead. We’d try to rub them off and end up with a face covered in ashes….Glad I can appreciate what it really is about now…..lol

  2. Cynthia

    Since I am not Catholic, Methodist or Lutheran, I found this article interesting. I have often heard others around me speak of Lent and I understood it was a time to set aside certain things. Many times I have heard the phrase “I am giving it up for Lent”. I did not realize it lasted for 40 days though. It was rather nice to read an article that simplified it all for me. While I am not likely to change my doctrinal practices myself, it is good to have a better understanding of what others around me are talking about.

    Now, for others who might read my comment, don’t get all worried about me. I am a Christian. I am simply not a member of a church or denomination that observes Lent.

    1. GrammieOlivia

      Yes, I agree, sometimes the practices of other faith groups has us stymied and we don’t understand or feel comfortable asking. I like to keep it simple because it really is. We can make some spiritual inroads by denying ourselves not so much the physical things like chocolates and candy, but rather denying ourselves from making nasty comments, being rude, being short with people, or rather letting others go before ourselves, opening the door for someone else, small acts of kindness, with no hope of return. It really is about loving others more or at least as much as we love ourselves. Then we will move to a place much closer to the Heart of God, and even radiate His goodness…..Pax

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