Tuesday, May 8, 2012

From Dancing to Praying for Forgiveness

By Wadner Pierre
After dancing, catching beads, sharing some beers with friends and dressing up in the funniest way for fat Tuesday, Christian believers start their penitential ritual following “Fat Tuesday.”

Traditionally, “Fat Tuesday” is the celebration before Christian believers started their forty-day penitential preparation known as lent. The Lenten season is considered as the holiest time in the Catholic Church.
Rev. Donald Hawkins the pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish gives ash to a parishioner on Ash Wednesday.Photo by Wadner Pierre
On Ash Wednesday Christians begin the lenten season with different resolutions such as fasting, praying, caring more for one another, giving, and most importantly examining their relationships with god.
Jesuit priest Peter Rogers said the church has no official view on “Fat Tuesday,” but for him this day is a time to rejoice and express the good and bad within our society.
He said, “It is a joyful moment to uh…uh make fun of oneself. To playfully make fun of what is wrong in the society, what is wrong in the Church.”
 Kurt Bindewald the director of University Ministry at Loyola University New Orleans said “Fat Tuesday” should be a thanksgiving time.
 He said, “So this whole idea where people envision Mardi Gras to be like specially on bourbon street. It is not really the whole idea of Mardi Gras, but more about being a time to celebrate the abundance that we enjoy.
Rev. Rogers said the Church suggests different things people can do during the lent, but to be friendly and caring to one another is one of the most important things someone can do during this time
 “More important than that is that we…uh be kind to one and other. That we bite our tongues, and that be unpleasant. That we truly be people, individuals, individuals who love one another,” said Rev. Rogers.
During the forty-day of penitence, the church usually asks believers to repent and turn their faces to God, and to get ready to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus-Christ.

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