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6 results for Ash Wednesday found within the Blog

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Great Lent

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 13th February 2016 in Fasting | Lent,Easter,Fasting,Prayer,early church,early church fathers,paganism,pagan roots
...hamenoth [Ash Wednesday]; and when, as I have said, we have first been purified and prepared by those days, we begin the holy week of the great Easter on the tenth of the month Pharmuthi [Palm Sunday], in which, my beloved brethren, we should use more prolonged prayers, and fastings... –Athanasius, Letter III I won't go into much more detail on the history of Lent and Easter (or pascha), but I hope you can see from this brief intro that the practice has been well established in the historical Church since the beginning, and isn't a "new" or invented thing merged from/with paganism and fertility goddesses. So with that said, let's take a look at the practi...
 

Fasting: A spiritual and physical discipline

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 27th May 2019 in Fasting | fasting,didache,discipline,self control,Lent,early church,early church fathers
...s” from Ash Wednesday to Easter Saturday, by not counting the Sundays of Lent, otherwise it would be 46 days. Types of Fasts There’s a whole variety of different fasts which the Church has observed over the years (see this calendar as an example of Greek Orthodox fasting)! But here’s a breakdown of some typical fasts which anyone in good health should be able to keep which I’ve taken from the various teachings found in the Church Fathers letters on fasting and Lent: Weekly: A fast observed every Wednesday and Friday until sundown in the Traditional practice (see below) or a bread and water only diet. Wednesdays and Fridays were chosen for two reaso...
 

Is fasting an expectation for Christians?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 29th February 2020 in Fasting | fasting,Lent,Ash Wednesday,self control,self denial
...The season of Lent is here once again which of course brings up the topic of fasting, since the tradition of Lent comes from following Jesus’ example of his time in the wilderness (Luke 4:1–2). I wasn’t planning on writing anything specific this year like I have previous in previous years, but I felt inspired today at church from one of Gospel readings: Matthew 9:14–15 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is t...
 

Does Easter Have Pagan Origins?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 22nd March 2021 in Easter | Easter,easter sunday,early church,church history,paganism,pagan roots,Ishtar,Eostre,fertility goddess
...hamenoth [Ash Wednesday]; and when, as I have said, we have first been purified and prepared by those days, we begin the holy week of the great Easter on the tenth of the month Pharmuthi [Palm Sunday], in which, my beloved brethren, we should use more prolonged prayers, and fastings…–Athanasius, Letter III (c. AD 332) Chocolate eggs and bunnies? So if the recognition and celebration of Pascha or the “Easter festival” dates back to the early second century of Christianity, and is wholly and totally centred around the resurrection of Jesus (and not so-called “pagan goddesses”)… How did chocolate eggs and rabbits come into the mix? This is another...
 

Spiritual Disciplines of the Early Church: Ancient Practices for the 21st Century

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 17th June 2019 in Early Church |
...I was asked not so long ago what kinds of things Christians did in the Early Church (first to fourth century) as a form of spiritual discipline, on a personal level as well as a corporate one. Though the concept of an individual “personal spiritual life” would have been quite foreign to first century believers as faith and Church was very much a corporate venture that had personal implications, rather than the other way around as it can often appear to be thought of today. Much of what made Christianity structured, disciplined and set apart from society, has largely been lost in practice, or forgotten and relegated to the annals of history by many practicin...
 

Does Christmas have pagan origins?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 19th December 2019 in Christmas | christmas,xmas,origins,pagan,pagan roots,church fathers,church history,Saturnalia,Epiphany,Annunciation,Tertullian,Origen,john chrysostom,incarnation,liturgical calendar,church calendar,festivals
...For most people, the question of the origins of Christmas is probably far from their minds. Some may recognise and give a cursory glance towards the Biblical narrative on the birth of Jesus as something to do with it (although a 2017 study showed that almost 1 in 20 Brits thought Easter was the birth of Jesus!);—but in some Christian circles the question (accusation?) that “Christmas is pagan” is at the forefront of their minds. Table of Contents When was December 25th celebrated? The Christian Calendar Concluding Thoughts Bonus Information Further Reading & Sources: As time goes on and we move further and further into the future,...
 
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