An Ash Wednesday #1LinerWeds

Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the season of Lent for Christians. It’s the forty days when Christians pray, do some sort of penace, and prepare themselves for Easter. For us Catholics, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting (at least for those under 59), and we’re supposed to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent. For some reason, that doesn’t include fish or eggs. Hey, if you’re used to eating fish, no problem, right? Those of us who grew up in the pre-Vatican II church can remember finding ways to obey the letter of the law without really participating in the spirit of it, but in those days, we abstained from meat every Friday, not to mention days which were days of partial abstinence (which had a name that escapes me).

ETA: Ember days.


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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now, a word from Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks and Fish Filets, featuring Emmanuel Lewis.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

18 thoughts on “An Ash Wednesday #1LinerWeds”

  1. We weren’t Catholic, but we used to have fish on Fridays because a local place made these amazing fish sandwiches. I get hungry just thinking about them. I think having something you look forward to, defeats the purpose of “sacrifice” but, like I said, we weren’t Catholic so not breaking any rules.

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    1. Obeying the letter of the law didn’t always imply you were doing any sort of act of mortification, ostensibly what the whole abstinence from meat thing was all about. Actually, one of the Popes put the rule into effect to help the fishermen…

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  2. I remember going to church and getting the ash on my forehead with enough ash to go on my nose so I looked like a miner. I also remember, quite fondly, my dad not eating any meat on Friday. By 11pm he would start asking my mom if it was midnight because he felt weak from not having meat! A minute after midnight he would be raiding the fridge to get a good dose of meat.

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    1. It’s interesting that fish and eggs, both of which are meat, were always okay for Fridays. And I think a hamburger is more in keeping with the spirit of penance than going to Red Lobster. And what about vegetarians and vegans? They don’t eat meat on any day…

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  3. I remember when The Church changed the rules and it was acceptable to eat meat on Friday. I swore I would never eat fish again as long as I lived. Turns out I came to love it. Funny story about your mother. Ma used to serve a concoction on Friday that was a mixture of spaghetti, canned tomatoes and Velveeta cheese. Years after we all left home your mother gets sentimental and decides to have a spaghetti dinner for the seven Connelly “kids” using that “delicious” recipe Mom used to make on Fridays. I told her, ” Bunny, that stuff was awful.” She went ahead with the party (I wasn’t there). She called me afterwards and said, “You were right. That was awful!”

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    1. George Carlin said he wonders if all the people who went to hell for eating meat on Friday had their sentences commuted.

      Of all the meals I had at home over the years, that one with the Velveeta spaghetti stands out as the worst. Mom didn’t even get upset when we wouldn’t eat it. “Awful” doesn’t even begin to describe how bad that stuff was. I think the Connelly sisters’ nostalgia for food like your mom used to make ended with that meal.

      I like fish, actually, but it usually took the form of fish sticks back then, and they were pretty gross. I have to say, though, the quality of frozen food has improved greatly since then.

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  4. Yes I remember getting ashes on my forehead as a kid. The whole school would go to church before classes. So glad I am over 60 and don’t have to do the fast (although it wouldn’t kill me) and if I remember, I’ll eat only fish on Fridays. Since Lent is penance, instead of giving up something I’m going to exercise more. Hated the changes the Vatican made. Every time some change happens my mom says “Some priest just wants to get noticed.” LOL

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  5. Thank God for good Chicago pizza with veggies (picked Pequod’s tonight because, hey, we got choices for pizza up here!)

    I was spared the spaghetti/Velveeta disaster so I’ll consider myself lucky! If you ever write about Mom’s pork chops though…….

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  6. Mmm, Mrs Paul’s! Thanks for that!
    Sadly, only my boy one eats fish sticks. Somethin wrong with the girls, obviously.
    Fish Fridays are a fond memory of my youth. Lotsa salmon patties, tuna noodle casserole, and trips to Long John Silver’s!

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    1. You can’t not like fish sticks and be a kid. They’re a whole lot better now than they were when I was in grammar school. Of course, maybe that’s just becaudse we left them in the freezer for so long…

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  7. I was raised Catholic. Baptized, Catholic School, uniforms, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Church every Sunday & confession on Saturday… yessssss the whole deal. When I grew up & had kids/divorced my job was in the way of my faith so to speak…. total wreck, but I made sure my kids had the same life as myself (except for the Catholic school the was way beyond my means especially with four kids). Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve talked about my faith. God bless you my friend. I feel bad now I forgot all about ash wednesday… dam……..

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