Yesterday we celebrated Fat Wednesday at our house. At this time of year typically on a Tuesday, we enjoy a small feast highlighted with the traditional Polish pastry, the Pączski. (It took me awhile to find that little curly ‘a’ thing.) We were introduced to these in Toledo, where we knew quite a few families with ski in their name. The donut-like treats feature a sweet filling of cream or various fruits. (If you’re in Toledo, you can probably still pick up some two-day-old ones at The Andersons. Otherwise, stop off at Tim Horton’s and pick up a jelly-filled donut. You’ll get the idea. Although, the Canadians can’t do it like the Polish.)
Burritos and Bolognese
We celebrated a day later since, as I’m sure you know, it was my birthday yesterday. We couldn’t very well begin the Lent season on my birthday. We’ll start Lent today.
Yesterday, Cindy took me to Chipotle, one of my favorites partly because they use all-natural meats. I don’t care much for their tortillas, though. On a previous visit, I’d asked the tortilla griller guy to keep it on the grill for much longer so it could get those scorched spots typical of real tortillas. He burnt his hand getting it out. Now I opt for the burrito bowl. I don’t need to get any Chipotle employees hurt with my demands for real-looking tortillas. (What if I brought my own? Or I should say, Cindy’s.)
For my birthday dinner Cindy made homemade Bolognese and pasta. Mmm. For dessert it was my favorite: carrot cake with real cream cheese icing and walnuts. You should have seen Gabriel (3 years) and Micah’s (22 months) eyes when the girls brought out the cake. They love anyone’s birthday.
Searching for Day-Old Ash
Back to Fat Wednesday and Lent and all that. We’re going to have a small Ash Thursday service tonight at our home. I’ve gotta see where I can get some ashes, though maybe we could just use a dab of mascara. Maybe some of that grease football players use. I should check with the local Catholic parish to see if they have any leftover ash. Would they just throw it away?
I’m quite unfamiliar with liturgical churches. I’ve been to a couple Catholic weddings, one of which was in Spanish (not that I understood much of the one in English), and one Lutheran service, but that’s about it. At a Methodist church where I served briefly, I did lead worship for an Ash Wednesday service, though I was too busy playing to see how they do that whole ash thing. Is it supposed to be in the shape of a cross? Could I make a smiley face for the boys? Would that be irreverent? Are they too young anyway?
To Fast Or Not To Fast, that is the question
I guess it comes down to this (as with any tradition): what are we trying to accomplish? In my uneducated view, the mark of the ash is a symbol of my association with Christ. He purchased my freedom from sin and its consequence of death, and so I am his. All that I am belongs to my Savior.
Many liturgical worshipers fast during Lent. I don’t know much about fasting. I’ve only done it a handful of times, and I’m not sure I did it right. I will fast this year. I’m going to cut out a few things that I delight in as a sort of meager sacrifice, my association with Jesus. He gave up far more than I’ll be giving up. Cherry Coke and ice cream just don’t compare to all the riches of heaven and rights as God.
(Mmm, a Cherry Coke float. Now that’d be good.)
What about you? Do you observe Lent and Ash Wednesday? Since I missed having a Cherry Coke yesterday, would it be OK for me to have one today? Maybe throw back a shot right before I get my ash?