Ash Wednesday and Easter on the way.
So if Love is “transaction free” – why such a transactional word: lent?
“In the late Middle Ages, as sermons began to be given in the vernacular instead of Latin, the English word lent was adopted. This word initially simply meant spring (as in the German language Lenz and Dutch lente) and derives from the Germanic root for long because in the spring the days visibly lengthen.”
And then this:
“There are traditionally forty days in Lent which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigour during Lent are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and almsgiving (justice towards neighbour).
However, in modern times, observers give up an action of theirs considered to be a vice, add something that is considered to be able to bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.
In addition, some believers add a regular spiritual discipline, such as reading a Lenten daily devotional. Another practice commonly added is the singing of Stabat Mater hymn in designated groups. Among Filipino Catholics, the recitation of Jesus Christ’ passion called Pasiong Mahal is also observed.
In many liturgical Christian denominations, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday form the Easter Triduum. Lent is a season of grief that necessarily ends with a great celebration of Easter. It is known in Eastern Orthodox circles as the season of “Bright Sadness.” It is a season of sorrowful reflection which is punctuated by breaks in the fast on Sundays.”
And then this:
“In the Roman Catholic Mass, Lutheran Divine Service, and Anglican Eucharist, the Gloria in Excelsis Deo is not sung during the Lenten season, disappearing on Ash Wednesday and not returning until Maundy Thursday, the joyful commemoration of Christ’s institution of the Holy Eucharist.
Likewise, the Alleluia is not sung during Lent. It is replaced before the Gospel reading by a seasonal acclamation. In the pre-1970 form of the Roman Rite omission of the Alleluia begins with Septuagesima. In the Byzantine Rite, the Gloria (Great Doxology) continues to be used in its normal place in the Matins service, and the Alleluia appears all the more frequently, replacing “God is the Lord” at Matins.”
And then this as a last sentence of a very full page:
“Today, some atheists who find value in the Christian tradition, also observe Lent.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lent
Let’s not just observe. Let’s all get closer to God. Or else what is this all really about?