ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Holidays and Celebrations»
  • Christian Holidays

Ideas for Your Lenten Sacrifice

Updated on February 3, 2017

What are you giving up for Lent this year?

Is your Lenten sacrifice something to improve yourself or one of the favorite things in your life? Are you going to give up a vice like smoking or a virtue like chocolate for lent?

I am a Catholic and I am raising my kids Catholic. I would not say I am religious, but as I get older I find myself listening more to the words and looking for the meanings during church services. I find the subject of religion extremely fascinating and don't judge one over the other, instead, I look for the commonalities and the teachings they bring to their followers.

Lent is the time period that Christians celebrate the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. During this time, Jesus faced the devil three times. After coming out of the desert, Jesus began his ministry and devotion towards God.

The question is simple as there is no right or wrong answer here, and I will not preach, I will research and publish facts though. I'm just looking to see what people are giving up for lent this year, is it a vice or a virtue?

Source

When does Lent Begin?

The beginning of Lent is typically Ash Wednesday or the day after Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras. Ash Wednesday is calculated as 46 days before Easter Sunday, and since Easter is on a different day each year, unlike Christmas, the first day of Lent is on a different day each year.

In order to find the first day of Lent, you have to know on what day Easter falls. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, thus Lent can begin as early as February 4th and as late as March 10th.

  • In 2011, Lent begins on March 9th.
  • In 2012, February 22nd.
  • In 2013, February 13th.
  • In 2014, March 5th.
  • In 2015, February 18th.
  • In 2016, February 10th.
  • In 2017, March 1st.
  • In 2018, February 14th, St. Valentine's Day.

A Limit is Not a Sacrifice

One year, my daughter suggested that she was going to limit the number of texts she does per day. I laughed and didn't agree to this type of sacrifice. That would be like Jesus saying, hey, I'm going into the desert for 40 days, but I'm coming back in town for dinner every night.

I don't believe you can limit something, like limit Facebook for 20 minutes instead of 1 hour per day or 1 can of Pepsi instead of 3 cans per day, and call that a Lenten sacrifice, you must make a sacrifice.

What do people Sacrifice During Lent

What do you sacrifice? Should it be something that you enjoy like playing the Wii or an addiction like Smoking? I think both have there merits and should be looked at equally.

Whatever it is you decide to sacrifice, make sure that it is something you will definitely miss doing without and make it specific. For years, I have given up the elevator at work and hiked up to my office on the 7th floor. Meetings on the 1st floor was always fun, and I rarely went out to lunch during this time period.

Here are Vices being given up for lent:

  • Alcohol.
  • Beer.
  • Wine.
  • Impulse Shopping.
  • Fried Foods.
  • Gambling.
  • Leaving Flaming Comments on SquidU.
  • Lottery.
  • Swearing.
  • Tobacco (Smoking or Chewing).

Here are virtues being given up for lent:

For Adults

  • Abbreviations while texting. LOL
  • Online chat rooms
  • Your time. Donate your time to others
  • Driving to Work. Take Public Transportation
  • Soda
  • Coffee
  • Caffeine
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Eating Out
  • Chocolate
  • Carbonated Beverages
  • Online Shopping
  • Starbucks
  • Fast Foods

What can Kids give up for lent? Yes, teaching kids that they can go without is part of religious teachings.

  • TV
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Handheld Game Devices.
  • Wii, PS3, PS4, Xbox
  • Video Games
  • Phones
  • Texting
  • Pizza
  • Soda
  • French Fries
  • McDonald's
  • Ice Cream. (Make sure your birthday isn't during lent.)

I was listening to a speaker at our Catholic Church a couple of weeks before lent in 2011 and he was giving a speech to the high school students at our church. And he gave a couple of suggestions that I hadn't thought of in that sometimes a sacrifice isn't giving up something you consume but it can also be giving up your time such as:

  • Playing with your younger sibling for 40 minutes once per week.
  • Doing the dinner dishes every night.
  • Visiting a retirement home for 40 minutes once per week.
  • Notice that the sacrifice isn't just once, it is every night or every week.

What are other people sacrificing for Lent?

To help you keep your sacrifice this year, the area below allows you to write down your Lenten sacrifice and share with the world.

We want to know if during Lent you sacrifice a Vice or a Virtue.

A Vice (Something Bad for you)

A Vice (Something Bad for you)

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      i limiting using a twitter

    • joykennel 5 years ago

      I am choosing both, mainly to give more TIME and life to godliness and less to distractions.

    • Delia 6 years ago

      I'm not Catholic, but always have observed Lent both Vice and Virtue...to me it has to be hard to mean something...

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm giving up TV. I believe it kills the mind. My mind could be used on more important things and make me more useful to those around me and on my relationship with God.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm limiting my Facebook time to 20 minutes instead of my usual hour (or more) a day, aided with "quickrr facebook rehab" LOL

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Nit a sacrifice but get closer to God and go to church more and read the Bible daily

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm giving up drinking beer, and I LOVE BEER!! :(

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      I've stopped complaining... Well, not entirely, but as much as possible, ESP when it comes to little matters.

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      Sacrifice by abstaining from a vice so ultimately you are working on becoming more virtueous. An example would be: If I eat for the sake of pleasure or depression, and not for the sake of sustaining life it could be construed as being glutton. If I work on this cross of gluttony by sacrificing it during lent and offering it up to God, I believe I am ultimately working on becoming more virtueous person.

    • Tom Fattes 7 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I'm not sure which side this goes on, but I give up the elevator at work and instead take the stairs up 6 floors.

    A Virtue (Something you Like)

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I am my own worst enemy, into self deprecation big time. For too many years I have been so hard on myself for a huge mistake I made (putting myself down, thinking I have no worth, terrible person, etc.) I am tired of it. It is physically and emotionally exhausting. I had an 'aha' moment while trying to think of what I could give up this year, aside from the usual alcohol, sugar, etc. So, since the first day of Lent, I have woken every morning, saying my usual prayers and have added saying only nice things about myself. If I catch myself at anytime throughout the day thinking anything negative, I immediately stop and say something kind. I plan on doing this everyday way past the given 40 days, until I am at peace with myself.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Totally no facebook, twitter and instagram during Lent

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        ive attempted to give up fapping o_o so far i think ive failed once

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        I've given up cake and my son has given up his DS

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        i limiting using facebook

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        I've done this a couple times in the past and I'm trying to increase the number this year. Sort of an extreme 'fast.' So try this: do not eat anything in a 24 hr period. I found the best way is to go midnight to midnight. I think water is acceptable, but that is all. Absolutely nothing more. As a general rule, the only thing you can put in your mouth is water. I did chew gum one day and the sugar did make it easier, but I will not do this again because the objective is for it to not be easier...it has to be a sacrifice, right? At any rate, give it a go. I found it to be very, very difficult, but definitely doable for just about everyone. Remember, make sure to 'offer up' your suffering so it counts!

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Playing games on my handheld devices

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        This year I'm focusing on getting closer to God. I usually pray once a day, but now I say a morning prayer and evening prayer. I've tried to reach out to my friends that are struggling, even those who I had lost contact with. And I've begun working an extra half hour of overtime per week. I intend to give the extra money that I make to a charity at the end of Lent. The extra prayer starting my day has made me closer to God, and giving up that extra half hour of free time (and looking up potential charities) has made me see how little sacrifices can help many people.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        I'm sacrificing guitar playing. I thought about taking my guitars out of sight, but I decided not to, so to defeat the temptation.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        Im addicted to drinking tea. So I'm thinking of giving it up for Lent.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        I'm giving up glutiny, cursing, and soda

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        chocolate and bread. it's tough, but i'll pull through!

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        I have given up complaining

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        My son's birthday usually falls during lent. When he was 11 he gave up sweets(candy, cake, icecream). Instead of cake he had a jello mold, the boys at his party didn't mind at all. He held true to his sacrifice for the entire lentin period. His dedication inspires me.

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        virtue

      What's the point in a Sacrifice

      A sacrifice in baseball is to give yourself up for the better of the team. The same can be true during lent, sacrifice yourself for the better of the team, and you get to define team. Is it your family, your church, or your community. Whatever you choose, it should be something that is difficult to do or live without.

      A sacrifice for your family may mean giving up the weekly pizza night, the weekly poker game, or smoking.

      A sacrifice for you church may mean you sacrifice your time to help feed the hungry, volunteer for the food pantry, or help with the collection of the Easter ham drive.

      A sacrifice for your community may mean bringing the elderly to the store for a shopping trip, volunteering for crosswalk duty at your local school, or teaching a computer class at your YMCA.

      At the end of Lent, your sacrifice should make you feel better about yourself. You should feel like you've contributed something and it should enable you to continue to give throughout the year.

      Source

      Why do Catholic's give up Meat on Fridays during Lent?

      I am a catholic, and have been practicing no meat for most of my life. However, as I started researching the reason for no meat on Fridays, its pretty clear that this is a tradition that has been passed down through the years and as a faith, we just believe.

      Religious based reasons:

      1. Jesus died on a Friday
      2. Jewish dietary law in the Old Testament
      3. To show the Lord the ability to sacrifice.
      4. Vatican II relaxed the the meat restriction from every Friday for economic reasons.
      5. Emperor Constantine banned on Fridays due to a meat shortage
      6. Fisherman went to Pope to boost their business
      7. Meat was only consumed by the rich in the first millennium.
      8. Most Catholics were fisherman in the first millennium.

      Sacrificing something on Friday was more about showing your devotion to God and Jesus and was less about what it was you were sacrificing. Very commonly, when St Patrick's Day falls on a Friday, Corned Beef is allowed to be eaten, as long as you are showing your sacrifice in another way.

      At the end of the day, your belief system is what you have to guide you through your life. There are rights and wrongs, and interpretations will continue to play out as they do today. Like the way the Bill of Rights guides the United States, so do the ten commandments guide people's faiths and beliefs of right and wrong.

      If we all follow the mantra of: Do no harm (physically, spiritually, emotionally, economically) and help each other; we could all live together successfully.

      Can you make a Lenten Resolution -

      or can you only make a lenten sacrifice?

      I heard the term Lenten Resolution in church on the 1st Sunday of Lent in 2010. It was the first time I heard the term and was curious when our Father stated the word. The father conducting the mass is not American but from I believe Haiti or the Dominican Republic, I believe. When the father uses a word that is different, sometimes its because of the way things translates, so there may be some credence there.

      I began to explore the term resolution a little farther, and know that New Year's Resolutions are popular. I think of New Year's resolutions as something that you want to change in your life, like, losing weight, exercising more, eating right, saving more money, volunteering more, or giving more to church.

      A sacrifice however, is something you are intending to do without for a period of time. It may help you with a resolution, but it is intended to be something that you give up, even though you don't have to or want. A sacrifice is not losing weight, but not eating chocolate. A sacrifice is not exercising more, but walking up stairs instead of using the elevator.

      Can you make a Lenten Resolution? No, I don't think you can. You can make Lent Sacrifices, which is the way I will tend to remember them.

      Click to Rate This Article