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BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?

Jim Dixon 22 Feb 12 - 08:32 PM
michaelr 22 Feb 12 - 09:00 PM
mg 23 Feb 12 - 01:38 AM
gnomad 23 Feb 12 - 01:58 AM
Doug Chadwick 23 Feb 12 - 02:57 AM
Geoff the Duck 23 Feb 12 - 05:00 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 23 Feb 12 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Patsy 23 Feb 12 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Feb 12 - 08:41 AM
jacqui.c 23 Feb 12 - 09:16 AM
Elmore 23 Feb 12 - 09:36 AM
SINSULL 23 Feb 12 - 10:32 AM
Mrrzy 23 Feb 12 - 10:43 AM
Charmion 23 Feb 12 - 01:53 PM
foggers 23 Feb 12 - 02:17 PM
Paul Burke 23 Feb 12 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 23 Feb 12 - 02:52 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Feb 12 - 05:23 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Feb 12 - 05:42 PM
ChanteyLass 23 Feb 12 - 07:17 PM
Wesley S 23 Feb 12 - 07:29 PM
Don Firth 23 Feb 12 - 07:56 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Feb 12 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke 24 Feb 12 - 02:17 AM
GUEST,Charmion's brother Andrew 24 Feb 12 - 06:27 AM
mg 24 Feb 12 - 10:24 AM
Joe Offer 24 Feb 12 - 03:20 PM
gnu 24 Feb 12 - 03:29 PM
Joe Offer 24 Feb 12 - 03:43 PM
Paul Burke 24 Feb 12 - 04:36 PM
gnu 24 Feb 12 - 04:52 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Feb 12 - 05:25 PM
Joe Offer 24 Feb 12 - 06:02 PM
gnu 24 Feb 12 - 09:13 PM
Jim Dixon 24 Feb 12 - 09:21 PM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler (Well-known pedant) 25 Feb 12 - 04:05 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Feb 12 - 04:24 PM
Paul Burke 25 Feb 12 - 04:32 PM
Don Firth 25 Feb 12 - 05:42 PM
Musket 26 Feb 12 - 12:03 PM
Mr Happy 14 Mar 12 - 06:39 AM
keberoxu 13 Feb 18 - 10:49 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Feb 18 - 10:52 AM
Nigel Parsons 13 Feb 18 - 12:07 PM
Mrrzy 13 Feb 18 - 12:12 PM
DMcG 13 Feb 18 - 12:14 PM
Nigel Parsons 13 Feb 18 - 12:27 PM
Senoufou 13 Feb 18 - 12:30 PM
Dave the Gnome 13 Feb 18 - 12:31 PM
Senoufou 13 Feb 18 - 12:40 PM
Donuel 13 Feb 18 - 12:57 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Feb 18 - 01:21 PM
Jack Campin 13 Feb 18 - 01:46 PM
MikeL2 13 Feb 18 - 02:20 PM
Jos 13 Feb 18 - 02:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 13 Feb 18 - 03:14 PM
Jos 13 Feb 18 - 03:47 PM
Nigel Parsons 14 Feb 18 - 04:06 AM
Senoufou 14 Feb 18 - 04:37 AM
Nigel Parsons 14 Feb 18 - 08:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Feb 18 - 08:32 AM
Senoufou 14 Feb 18 - 08:52 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Feb 18 - 09:02 AM
Steve Shaw 14 Feb 18 - 09:19 AM
Dave the Gnome 14 Feb 18 - 10:00 AM
Charmion 14 Feb 18 - 10:36 AM
Nigel Parsons 14 Feb 18 - 10:49 AM
Charmion 14 Feb 18 - 10:56 AM
Bonzo3legs 15 Feb 18 - 05:51 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Feb 18 - 06:05 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Feb 18 - 06:31 AM
Nigel Parsons 15 Feb 18 - 07:27 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Feb 18 - 08:40 AM
MikeL2 15 Feb 18 - 02:24 PM
Senoufou 15 Feb 18 - 05:13 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Feb 18 - 05:16 PM
Jos 16 Feb 18 - 05:30 AM
Senoufou 16 Feb 18 - 05:44 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Feb 18 - 07:55 AM
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Subject: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 08:32 PM

Today I learned to my great surprise that there seem to be a lot of people who have never heard of Ash Wednesday.

To illustrate this point, someone at another forum posted a link to this video of a Sky News [UK] program from Ash Wednesday of last year.

The presenters are making small talk while they wait for Barack Obama to start speaking. Joe Biden is standing at the lectern and he has an ash smudge on his forehead. The presenters are speculating what it is. The person who uploaded the video seems to think they are making a tasteless joke, but I think they're just plain ignorant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: michaelr
Date: 22 Feb 12 - 09:00 PM

I'm sure there are plenty of people who are unaware of Shrove Tuesday as well, or even Mardi Gras, and the concept of Lent.

This is all religious stuff, which thankfully keeps losing relevance year by year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: mg
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 01:38 AM

It's one of my favorite days of the church year. I like getting my ashes. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: gnomad
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 01:58 AM

The percentage of people with little or no knowledge of Christianity in the UK continues to increase. One could find this surprising, considering how deeply it has affected the shape of our current society, and the popularity of an amateur interest in our history.

What concerns me more is the number I encounter who profess to be Christians, but who (like Kay Burley in the video) have very little apparent knowledge of the faith they supposedly hold.
I was raised an Anglican, which many people here claim to be (groundlessly IMO, but it's their choice) and although Ash Wednesday is a much less significant mark in the CofE church calendar than it is in the RC community, the mark on JB's forehead was immediately comprehensible. This despite my rejection of belief as an adult.

Unlike Jim, this widespread ignorance is not news to me. Much of our society is truly ignorant on a great range of topics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 02:57 AM

I'm all for Pancake Tuesday. Times when I can indulge are part of the fabric of our traditions and rich heritage.

?? but give up things for Lent? No! Restrictions on what I can eat are just silly religious taboos that have no place in our modern society, aren't they?

;-)
DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 05:00 AM

Actually - they had more to do with not being able to store foods much beyond this point, and new crops / beasts not ready for eating until spring arives. You don't slaughter a ewe before it has produced it's lambs or you won't have any sheep to eat the following year. The animals you slaughtered before Winter set in (they would otherwise have just starved to death for lack of food) are about to deteriorate with the warmer weather and go rotten (Winter was a natural outdoors fridge/freezer). What is the solution? Easy - have a big feast to eat your stored food before it goes bad, then starve for a month and a half until the new season provides fresh food.
Bog all to do with religion, if you think about it...

Mucky foreheads on the next day, and penitence are a completely different issue.

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 06:10 AM

Years ago I gave up religion for lent and never looked back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 06:51 AM

I was taught about Ash Wednesday following Shrove Tuesday etc. but have never regarded it as important no more than Valentine's Day or Lent which I agree is ridiculous unless it can be used for a time to make resolutions that you didn't make in January such as giving up smoking or changing diet. That would make more sense to make a new beginning with the onset of Spring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 08:41 AM

I attended Ash Wednesday service yesterday. It was a peaceful interlude in a busy day. I enjoyed the singing, too.

I didn't get ashes put on me because I think religion should be in your heart, not on your skin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 09:16 AM

I applaud anyone who has the courage of their convictions and will show their faith in this sort of way. Unfortunately it isn't always done with the best of motives.

A few years ago, when I worked in an office, one of the men went to an Ash Wednesday service at lunchtime and came back with the ashes on his forehead.

Now, this was a guy who rarely moved away from his desk, had no need, or, it seemed, inclination to interact with most of the office the majority of the time. That particular afternoon he made a point of drifting round the office striking up conversation with each of the groupings.

I guess that he really wanted people to ask what the ashes were for - I knew and so ignored it and he moved away to find other victims.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Elmore
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 09:36 AM

I've recovered from all that.Best wishes to anybody for whom it works.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: SINSULL
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 10:32 AM

I still practice "giving up something for Lent". An exercise in willpower not a religious belief.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 10:43 AM

Where I grew up the Christians were pretty much all Catholics, either African (croyants/believers) or European (pas croyants/nonbelievers), but it wasn't till I came to the Southern US that I saw people who actually, just like in the Middle Ages, smear ashes on their foreheads on this day. It's still all I can do not to snicker.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 01:53 PM

I'm a firm believer in the live-and-let-live principle when it comes to religion. You don't snicker at my ashes, and I will refrain from sharing my opinion of rockin' gospel music, speaking in tongues, venerating the bovine species, wearing a bodybag and gloves to do the grocery shopping in July, full-immersion baptism, eating cold food on Saturday, and a host of other practices that scratch your spiritual itch and have no effect on me.

Hypocrites -- those who talk the talk but don't walk the walk -- well, they bug me. I try to refrain from curling my lip too pointedly when I identify one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: foggers
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 02:17 PM

I am with Geoff the Duck on this one; a religious virtue (giving up meat for lent) has been made out of a practical necessity. Other major religions have similar patterns of feast and fast, that all lend weight to this being a human phenomenon rather than a unique feature of christianity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 02:41 PM

I'm shocked that there are people who have never heard of Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. But of course everyone has heard of Up'ards and Down'ards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 02:52 PM

I'm ready to bet that there are some ignorant folk who've never even heard of Carling Sunday either!


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 05:23 PM

Here's some explanation of Up'ards and Down'ards


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 05:42 PM

From the Wikipedia article on Geordie dialect words:

CARLING SUNDAY - The second Sunday before Easter and traditionally carlings are served on that day. An urban myth abounds that it started when a famine in Newcastle was relieved when a ship loaded with a cargo of grey peas arrived on that day
CARLINGS - Choice grey-peas, also known in other regions as Black peas or Pigeon Peas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 07:17 PM

I was raised Roman Catholic, the faith of my mom, while my dad was Episcopalian. Mom and I always got ashes. I no longer adhere to that faith or any specific faith. I no longer get ashes. Today I was talking to a friend who is a Methodist. She said she sang in the choir at her church's Ash Wednesday service where people could do one of three things: get ashes on their foreheads, get ashes on their hands (palm or back? I wish I'd asked.), or not get ashes at all. This was the first time I had heard of Methodists doing this. (This is in the US. I don't know if Methodists in other parts of the US do this.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Wesley S
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 07:29 PM

I've heard of Ash Wednesday - but what's a Sky News? Another british tabloid?


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 07:56 PM

I find Lent a convenient time for reassessment and working on new habits (or resuscitating old ones). Since Bob Nelson and I did a reunion concert some five years ago, I grieve to state that I have been quite "off and on" about practice, and I've really gotten sloppy. In fact, my left-hand callouses are getting soft.

After ablutions and breakfast, I have been starting my mornings by checking my e-mail, then more often than not, going straight to Mudcat. Most days I just don't get around to picking up the guitar.

Lent is supposed to be time of contemplation and repentance. Repentance: def. To feel remorse, contrition, or self-reproach for what one has done or failed to do. To resolve to change one's ways.

So what am I giving up for Lent this year? I am giving up neglecting to practice.

As of Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) morning, I am checking my e-mail as usual (there may be something I need to respond to), then picking up the guitar and the technique books and practicing for at keast an hour, then singing at least five songs?five different songs each day?to keep them fresh in my memory. Then I go to Mudcat.

I find Lent a convenient reminder to do these little re-evaluations. With or without religious overtones.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Feb 12 - 08:13 PM

Wesley:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_News

Do you want me to click it for you, too?

(I've been waiting for a chance to use that line.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 02:17 AM

The big question is: did you used to fence with the palm crosses?


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: GUEST,Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 06:27 AM

"The big question is: did you used to fence with the palm crosses?"

Yes, and we laid up the palm crosses that survived battle in the dining room chandelier and returned them the following year to the church to be burnt to ashes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: mg
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 10:24 AM

our palms were very similar to douglas fir branches in the olden days; you put them behind the holy pictures.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 03:20 PM

Getting ashes on Ash Wednesday seems to be a very popular custom. Catholics are not required to attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, but parishes I'm familiar with, are always full on Ash Wednesday. I don't know the origins of the custom - just that it's a sign of penitence and conversion.

Most of the churches in our town have an ecumenical service on the Wednesdays of Lent. It starts at our Catholic church on Ash Wednesday, so people of all faiths get ashes - it was the other churches that asked for this, not a suggestion that came from the Catholics. We've usually had the Episcopalian priest preach from the Catholic pulpit on Ash Wednesday - and the preacher has usually been a woman.

I got ashes Wednesday morning and skipped the ecumenical service so I could go to a Chieftains concert in the evening - I wasn't the only person at the concert with ashes on his forehead. It's kind of a nice, one-day symbol of "Catholic identity."

I can't say I get any deep inspiration out of the custom of getting ashes on Ash Wednesday. Still, it's an interesting tradition - and it's kinda fun.

Friday night fish frys are fun, too. Many Catholic parishes still have them, especially during Lent. And hey, you can't have fish and chips without a beer, can you? I can't say that it's much of a sacrifice to abstain from meat on Fridays in Lent, and to "fast" by limiting oneself to three meals on Ash Wednesday. It's more of a mindfulness thing, to keep us mindful of our identity as Catholics.

I'm going to a potluck this evening, so I won't bother abstaining from meat if it's served. I wouldn't dream of asking a priest's permission to eat meat, and I fully expect that I won't go to hell for what I eat tonight. It's still generally a requirement that Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent, but there is no longer a sanction attached to that requirement.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: gnu
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 03:29 PM

Joe... yer a trout, not a steak. >;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 03:43 PM

I never had trout as a kid, gnu. Too expensive. If we had steak, it was one large steak for two parents and the five of us kids, sliced thin. Oftentimes on Fridays, my dad would overcook a halibut steak in the broiler in the oven, and we'd split it among the whole family. I grew to hate halibut.

When I was a kid in Wisconsin, the standard church fish fry had perch - but that's when Wisconsin had a commercial fishing industry on Lake Michigan* - little boats that looked like Dutch wooden shoes, like this one (click). The perch was always fresh, and it was a real treat. Oh, and we might switch to smelt, when the smelt were running - they'd be fried up in huge quantities. Here in California, the Knights of Columbus do the cooking at Lenten fish frys, and they usually serve cod, haddock, or whiting - along with fries, cole slaw, and beer.

-Joe-

*They also had commercial fishing on Lake Superior, but I think that was mostly for bigger fish, like whitefish. I've never seen the Wisconsin shore of Lake Superior, so I know nothing first hand about it. Commercial fishing for perch was big on Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie until about 1970. I guess the Catholics ate up all the perch, which may be why the year-round fish-on-Friday rule was dropped....


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 04:36 PM

Joe: I loved Fridays. We got fish and chips from Kidd's on the Height (Dave Polshaw would have told you about it). Mean portions, but the quality stupendous. And if you didn't get roped into Benediction, all the evening free.

Lent meant giving up sweets (which also meant saving for a plastic aeroplane kit). Pancake Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, all the candles out in church through Lent (except for the two big ones beside the altar), then Holy Week with all the statues and crosses draped in purple wraps...

Never liked Good Friday though, despite the hot cross buns.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: gnu
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 04:52 PM

BTW... my last post was a reference to an old joke about a Protestant converted to Cat'lic for those that don't know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 05:25 PM

John was born and raised as a Protestant, but grew up to do the worst thing he could do. That's right, he married a lovely Papist (Catholic) girl named Mary. Of course, to do so, he had to go to the vestry and take instruction and convert to Catholicism. John and Mary were happy newlyweds, but John did have some difficulty getting used to thinking of himself as a Catholic. He went to see Father Casey, the priest who married them, at the vestry, for some advice.

Father Casey hadn't seen this problem before, and was at a bit of a loss. He suggested that John simply repeat to himself, as often as possible, "You're a Catholic, not a Protestant." So John walked all the way home, muttering to himself, "You're a Catholic, not a Protestant; you're a Catholic, not a Protestant;you're a Catholic, not a Protestant; you're a Catholic, not a Protestant."

That Friday evening, Father Casey made his rounds to greet some of the Parish families. When he got to John and Mary's cottage, he thought he smelled something, and became curious, so he knocked on the door.

Mary greeted him fondly, invited him in, and returned to her chair and resumed her knitting. Before he took a seat, Father Casey asked, "Mary, where's John this fine evening?" Mary answered, "Oh, Father, he's in the kitchen, just over there. Go on through and say hello."

By this time, Father Casey was certain he was smelling a smell that no Catholic family's house should smell of on a Friday night (meat!). Sure enough, he went through to the kitchen and found John, standing over a steak on the pan on the stove. As he spooned the sauce over it, he was heard to repeat:

"You're a trout, not a steak; you're a trout, not a steak; you're a trout, not a steak."

* * *
My wife has done this kind of thing to me: We'll be sitting around a table with a bunch of other people, and several jokes have been told, and she will nudge me and say, out loud so everyone can hear: "Tell them the one that goes, 'You're a trout, not a steak.' " All I can do is facepalm at that point because she has already spoiled the joke. Nevertheless, people are staring at me waiting to hear it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 06:02 PM

Oh....THAT joke! Now I remember, gnu.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: gnu
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 09:13 PM

Goodness gracious! I thought every Cat'lic heard that joke and remembered it.

Say a half a hail and a full father and yer even.

BTW... why is it Hail Mary and not Hale Mary?


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Feb 12 - 09:21 PM

I give up. Why?


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler (Well-known pedant)
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 04:05 PM

O Blessed Day! Somebody has never heard of Sky News! Praise God all you Nations! Praise His Holy Name! Caloo! Calay! etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 04:24 PM

As far as I know, Sky News is unavailable in the US.

It doesn't matter; we have Fox News, which is also owned by News Corporation, and probably worse, although I haven't seen any comparison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 04:32 PM

But not pedantic enough to put enough l's in, or the h on the and of callooh...


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 05:42 PM

The Catholic church and the synagogue were just across the street from each other. Father O'Neill and Rabbi Levine had known each other for many years and were good friends. They'd had many good, in-depth discussions of theology in which they often disagreed, but never acrimoniously. Nevertheless, Father O'Neill harbored the secret hope that he could convert Rabbi Levine. The Rabbi knew this because the Father had broached the subject a number of times, but the Rabbi always smiled gently and shook his head.

One day the Father and the Rabbi were on their way to a large ecumenical meeting in a nearby town. The Father was driving and they were casually chatting about this and that.

Suddenly a huge semi coming in the opposite direction swerved over into their lane, threatening a deadly head-on collision. The Father, startled, swerved to avoid the crash and the car ran off the road and rolled over a couple of times. Both men were thrown clear of the car.

Dazed and shaken up, Father O'Neill gave thanks for surviving the roll-over intact, then looked for his friend. The Rabbi was about ten feet away. He seemed to be all right also. He rose slowly to his knees, and with a somewhat tentative expression . . . he crossed himself!

Father O'Neill cried out, "Oh, thank you, Lord! Thank you! All of my prayers have not been in vain. My friend has finally seen the Light!"

"What?" said the Rabbi. "What are you talking about?"

"You!" said the Father. "It has taken this brush with death to show you the light! You've become a Christian!"

The Rabbi cocked his head and looked at the Father as if he had gone mad.

"I don't understand. What are you talking about?"

"I just saw you cross yourself!"

The Rabbi looked puzzled for a moment, then laughed.

"No, no, no," he said. "I was just checking to be sure I still had everything. Spectacles, testacles, wallet and pen."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Musket
Date: 26 Feb 12 - 12:03 PM

Why would anybody who hasn't heard of Ash Wednesday be disadvantaged in any way?

Mind you, I suppose a TV reporter should, in an ideal world, be aware of the traditions and superstitions of wherever they are reporting from, thinking about it.

I always knew it was the day after St Pancake's Day, but never knew why it occurred or what Christians tended to do to observe it, or indeed what they were observing.

But like Maypole dancing, Stonehenge overnighting and intolerance, they are all quaint traditions that are harmonics of the grand chord, or however you are supposed to say it these days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 06:39 AM

Years ago, I was in a jewellers shop with a girlfriend who wanted to buy a silver crucifix on a chain for another friend's birthday.

The young girl serving showed us some crosses & said 'The plain ones are from £5 -£10, the ones with a man on are £3 more!'


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 10:49 AM

Ah, but how often does Valentine's Day intersect with Ash Wednesday?

-- posted on Fat Tuesday


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 10:52 AM

One of our neighbours, many years ago, used to serve up 'tater ash' (potato hash) on Ash Wednesday because she thought that is where the name came from. Honest!

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:07 PM

Ah, but how often does Valentine's Day intersect with Ash Wednesday?

-- posted on Fat Tuesday

This year, at least.
And Easter Sunday shares the day with All Fools (first time since 1956)


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:12 PM

I'd *heard* of Ash Weds but it wasn't till I moved to the Bible Belt that I ever saw anyone with actual ashes on their actual forehead for it. I thought I was back in the superstitions of the 3rd world. That was the mid-80's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:14 PM

How often does Valentine's day intersect Ash Wednesday?

This cut'n'paste might help. Or it might not!

In a regular year, the calendar repeats itself in a 28-year cycle. First it repeats after six years and then for two spans of 11 years. A calendar for a leap year repeats itself every 28 years. The calendars of both the second and third years repeat themselves in an 11-11-6year cycle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:27 PM

It probably doesn't help as Easter (and thus Ash Wednesday)don't occur on fixed dates, but are linked to the Moon's cycles.

Otherwise Easter (Sunday) would have coincided with 1st April at lease once between 1956 and now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:30 PM

We had our pancakes today (second only to crumpets in my 'Gorgeous Stuff' list).
I used to go to church to have my ashes applied. They were made from burning the palm crosses we'd been given on Palm Sunday.
I've noticed the supermarkets have large signs up saying 'Pancake Day' but not 'Shrove Tuesday'. That indicates to me that many folk now are unaware of the church calendar.
When my husband first arrived in the UK many years ago, he was astonished that we too had a Fasting period of forty days. But he fell over laughing when I explained what it entailed - giving up chocolate or sweets perhaps. He foolishly imagined it was the same as Ramadan.
Now Ramadan IS a fast! Nothing passes the lips after the very start of dawn until night falls. Not even water. Even toiling in 40 degrees of heat, nothing to drink all day long. People in his home city often collapse and some even die from dehydration. I can't be brought to believe that God wants us to do that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:31 PM

1st of April Easter Sunday is when Jesus leaps out of the tomb and shouts "April fool!"

:D tG


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Senoufou
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:40 PM

Mr Happy, I absolutely loved your account of the lassie in the jeweller's shop saying, "The ones with a man on are £3 more" !!!

And Dave, that's brilliant! "April Fool!" Hahahahaha!

My husband has just asked me to make some more batter for a second round of pancakes, the greedy pig. I might have some more myself as well... yes! I definitely WILL!
It's Valentine's Day tomorrow, and I'm feeling quite romantic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 12:57 PM

Ash Wednesday. Really? I have been spitting on my thumb and wiping off the smudge. I assumed people had car trouble. ":^/


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 01:21 PM

Not a word of a lie, my great uncle, who lived in Salford, gave up beer for Lent and only drank wine instead.

When we wuz lickle at school in Radcliffe, we vied with each other to get the biggest ash smear on the forehead. The trick was to jerk the head slightly just as the priest's thumb reached the head.

Feb 15 1961 was Ash Wednesday. As ever, we were marched off the half-mile to church that morning by our teachers. There was a partial solar eclipse that morning which I was desperate to see but the clouds covered the sun. By the time the service ended the sun was beaming out but the eclipse had finished. I have a feeling that I might have become a bitter, pre-pubescent proto-atheist that morning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 01:46 PM

I first met with it on the underground in Glasgow. Sitting in a carriage with several people next to me all with the ash smears. Took me a moment to realize it wasn't a zombie apocalypse.

Is that the day when penitents are supposed to whip themselves with chains? Not enough headroom on the Glasgow trains for that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: MikeL2
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 02:20 PM

Hi

When we were very young my brother and I thought that Ash Wednesday was "Tater Hash". We were taken to the church to the Mass. We received the ash from the priest but we re still waiting for the " Tater Hash".

Cheers

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jos
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 02:52 PM

I've never noticed anyone with ash smeared on their forehead, but I do sometimes give up something for Lent, just as an exercise in self-control (but I don't do sober October or dry January - or try to grow a moustache in November).

I have read somewhere that in times gone by people believed that barnacle geese came from barnacles so they counted as fish, and you could eat them on Fridays.

I discovered last year that Catholics who give something up for Lent are allowed to eat whatever it is on Sundays because the 'fast' is supposed to be for 40 days, representing the time Christ spent in the wilderness resisting the temptations of the devil - but the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter is 46 days so it has to be fudged.

I suspect that using up the eggs in pancakes and then not eating any until Easter, when eggs hatch into chicks (or rabbits, for the really confused), has more to do with the need to stop eating eggs so that the chickens have a chance to produce chicks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 03:14 PM

St Patrick's day, which always falls in lent, is a day off for some as well, Jos.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jos
Date: 13 Feb 18 - 03:47 PM

If you were an Irish Catholic who had given up Guinness for Lent, I reckon St Patrick's Day would have to be a day off, wouldn't it - bit of a bummer otherwise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 04:06 AM

I've never understood why Lent ends on Easter Sunday (or Maundy Thursday).
If it commemorates Christ's 40 days of fasting in the desert it should end with His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 04:37 AM

I suppose it's meant to cover the Passion as well Nigel.
I do think it's a good idea to exercise some self-discipline for a while. It's nice to find out one can control one's self-will if necessary.
I've been given a lovely box of chocolates by my kind husband for Valentine/s Day this morning, and in spite of the above smug remarks about self-discipline, I think...er...I'll tuck into them nevertheless!


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 08:21 AM

Of course, you shouldn't put your wishes for self-control above your husband's wishes to please you. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 08:32 AM

The real test of self control is to eat just a few and save the rest. If you are anything like me with a nice whisky it is not possible.

I am very good at abstinence but crap at moderation :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Senoufou
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 08:52 AM

Well there - the two of you (Nigel and Dave) have persuaded me to graciously accept these delicious chocolates so as not to disappoint my husband. I shall indeed just have a few. But....the top layer has gone already... how that happened I don't know.

I've also tried to stop drinking that blooming Shloer. It's lovely, but my strict sister has forbidden me to buy any more as it's full of sugar. She says I'll make myself diabetic.

Just got back from Tesco, and a wicked fairy put three bottles of Shloer in the trolley. I'm having a large glass of it as I type.

I'm sure I'll go straight to hell at this rate!


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 09:02 AM

You definitely need to give up that sugary stuff. Stick to the version where the sugar has been converted to alcohol :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 09:19 AM

Morrisons has restocked the Nero d'Avola! But Dave, it's six quid...

I'm about to try their Italia Primitivo tonight, the one with the plain white label with pictures of pasta on it. Will keep you posted! We're having it with crostini topped with tomatoes, basil and olive oil, nocellara olives and Marche-style garlic cloves (bought at Roma in Whitefield), some Vallage triple cream cheese, some Yorkshire Blue from Morrison's (never 'ad it before) and a lump of proper Wensleydale. I will not die tonight of calorie-lack...


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 10:00 AM

The Yorkshire blue is very nice if I remember rightly. The one made by Shepherds Purse? They are very much the current rising stars of the dairy.

Blessed be the cheesemakers...

Have you tried the ultimate fusion food yet?

Yorkshire pudding pizza

Only available until the 20th. Will go very well with a Primitivo and Black Sheep cocktail :-D

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 10:36 AM

Imposition of ashes is done in Anglican churches in Canada, but only in the spiky (High Church) kind. I find it hard to square with Jesus' direction in the Book of Matthew:

(16) Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(17) But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
(18) That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

I remember going to work after Mass and washing my face in the ladies' loo on the way in. I wasn't the only one, either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 10:49 AM

I remember going to work after Mass and washing my face in the ladies' loo on the way in. I wasn't the only one, either.

By 'loo' I trust you mean the room, not the receptacle ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Charmion
Date: 14 Feb 18 - 10:56 AM

I do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 05:51 AM

Lent is catholic drivel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 06:05 AM

The Italia Primitivo is a charmless, stern beast. No more. Thankfully, we had a bottle of the Peuceta 2016 Primitivo to hand, a warm, sunny, fruity thing. The Wensleydale and Vallage were gorgeous, things of beauty, but I'm afraid the Yorkshire Blue was like a dry, salty version of a very average Stilton. Half of it ended up in the bin. Gotta try these things I suppose...


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 06:31 AM

What a shame :-( The one I had was moist to the point of being spreadable. Maybe it was just old, in which case you should have kept the remains and took it back for a refund!

Was it this?

https://www.shepherdspurse.co.uk/our-cheeses/blue-vein/yorkshire-blue.html

I am up in Ribblesdale over the weekend. If I get chance to go to Hawes do you want me to go to Elijah Allen's and make up a food parcel? :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 07:27 AM

Glad you enjoyed the chocolates.

I took my boss (wife) to Cardiff's New Theatre to see "The Sound of Music". A very good evening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 08:40 AM

As far as I know, only Shepherds Purse make Yorkshire Blue. Your description matches all the ones I've found online. I think Morrisons mislabelled that lump of cheese. It was hard, dry, salty and the very opposite of creamy and spreadable! We'll give it another whirl when we see it again - anywhere except in Bude Morrisons! It was only a small piece, by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: MikeL2
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 02:24 PM

Hi Steve

While talking about cheese have you tried Cornish Crunch.

Last year we were given a load by Marks & Spencer because we ordered something else but they did not get it.

So they rewarded us with a large package among others and this Cornish Crunch was great with a good bottle of beer or a good red wine.

Trouble is we don't seem to be able to get it now.

A Cheesy Cheers

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Senoufou
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 05:13 PM

I used to take groups of pupils over to Normandy for a week, and we visited the little markets in various villages around Etretat. There were always the most wonderful cheeses for sale, really strong-flavoured, from small local dairies.
On one of the trips, some of the pupils bought one or two of these cheeses to take home as gifts for their parents. The stench was very noticeable on the coach going to the ferry at Calais. By the time we'd docked at Dover and travelled all the way back to Norwich in our coach, it was overpowering. The poor driver was nearly sick.
I confess I had a couple of the things in my small suitcase... absolutely delicious... :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Feb 18 - 05:16 PM

Haven't tried Cornish Cruncher (it's made in the Davidstow cheese industrial complex just down the road from here), but on your recommendation I'll give it a whirl!


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Jos
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 05:30 AM

Nigel Parsons said:
"I've never understood why Lent ends on Easter Sunday (or Maundy Thursday).
If it commemorates Christ's 40 days of fasting in the desert it should end with His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday."

At the time, I thought that made sense ... but isn't there something missing? My memory of the bible story is a bit vague, with a childhood of church on Sundays and school religious assemblies mostly delivering disjointed readings of seemingly random excerpts.
But wasn't the spell in the wilderness followed by some baptising, preaching, miracles, curing the sick, turning water into wine, feeding the five thousand, having a bit of a tantrum in the temple, walking on water ...
If the Lenten fast is to end with Palm Sunday, wouldn't it last several years, not just 40 days?

OK, everybody, back to talking about cheese.


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Senoufou
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 05:44 AM

You're right Jos. Jesus' ministry lasted about 3 years. Oh crumbs, no, I couldn't 'fast' for three years. I'd end up...well...normal size!


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Subject: RE: BS: Never heard of Ash Wednesday?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Feb 18 - 07:55 AM

His ministry allegedly lasted for three years...


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