We are now between the historical liturgical Sundays of Sexigesima and Quinquagesima and Lent is quickly approaching. Our culture at large is aware that something is happening on Ash Wednesday as they see the faithful emerge from church with ashes imposed on their foreheads; however, beyond that the cultural understanding of Lent often revolves around “giving something up.”
As a young child in the Lutheran Church (pre-merger … yes I am that old), not much was made of the Lenten practices of “fasting and self-denial” other than having Lenten mite boxes. However, my Roman Catholic cousins ate fish on Fridays and seemed to make more out of this than we did. Only after joining the Episcopal Church did I hear the exhortation on Ash Wednesday which includes the call to observe fasting and self-denial.
For our Fifth #TractSwarm, we are asking for your thoughts on the practices of “fasting and self-denial.” Why is this important to the observance of a holy Lent? What are the purposes of focusing on these practices? How can we practice fasting beyond the obvious ways involving food? What is the relationship between fasting and feasting – particularly surrounding those Sundays “in Lent” but not “of Lent”?
Posts on #TractSwarm Five: Fasting – a Catholic tradition
Posted in the order they were written.
Fr. Ethan Jewett – The Language of Fasting