RevGal Mother Laura offers this Friday Five:
1. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras and/or Ash Wednesday this week? How?
On Tuesday the church gathered for our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner. The menu was pancakes (of course), sausage, bacon, syrup, fruit toppings, ice cream and cookies. Delicious! We laughed and played some silly games at our tables. It was great fun.
Wednesday, of course, turned toward a much more serious tone. We had two Ash Wednesday services jointly with the other United Methodist Church in town. The noon service was a half an hour for those who were on their lunch break from work. The evening service included the choir. At both services we offered the sign of ash on the forehead.
2. What was your most memorable Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday/Lent?
I would have to say that my most memorable Ash Wednesday was my first year as a pastor. The church was not used to having an Ash Wednesday service, so only a handful of people came. I was nervous, not knowing quite what to do myself. Yet it was a profoundly moving experience to anoint each person with the ashes and repeated the words "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." I find that continues to be the case.
3. Did you/your church/your family celebrate Lent as a child? If not, when and how did you discover it?
I don't remember Ash Wednesday services, but its possible that our church did have them. I do remember learning about Lent. Especially the practice of giving something up ~ usually sweets or chocolate.
4. Are you more in the give-up camp, or the take-on camp, or somewhere in between?
I've usually given up something for Lent. In the past I've given up chocolate. Last year I gave up Great Harvest Cookies (a particular temptation since the bakery is right down the street from the church). One year I gave up TV. I read a lot during that Lent!
5. How do you plan to keep Lent this year?
I am not practicing any particular discipline this year. Honestly, I just hope to keep my head above water. Our Senior Pastor will be going to Italy for 10 days right in the middle of Lent, which means I will be 'solo' during that time. Three worship services, Lenten studies and Confirmation are enough spiritual discipline for me!