Posts Tagged ‘lent


Easter vs. Greaster

So, this post is going to be pretty irreverent in a moment, so let me start with the reverence. I celebrate Easter, and do so with more than simply the big bunny and a basket of treats for Little Girl Blue. I may be a bleeding heart liberal, slightly kinky, foul-mouthed Christian, but I am Christian all the same, and as far as I’m concerned, Jesus died and took all sins past and future onto himself to be our guide and to be the bridge between humans and the divine (though, interestingly to some of you, perhaps, I don’t think he’s going to make worship of him a prerequisite for admittance). I don’t take the entire Lenten season all that seriously, though I try to use it as a time for more spiritual reflection and Christ-oriented contemplation.

However, while I take Easter seriously as well as calorically, I also figure that after more than 2,000 years Jesus is well over any post-traumatic shock from his crucifixion. Plus, I figure God has a pretty wicked sense of humor. And thus I hope I will be able to skate by the rest of this post without thunderbolts crashing through the roof and turning me into a crispy critter.

You see, one of my online pals…one of my tweeps…is one Rebecca Moi aka @bexmith on Twitter. And she decided to forgo any Lenten celebrations this year and decided to celebrate Kent instead. Well, it occurred to me today that Kent needs to be codified, much like Festivus was in “Seinfeld,” and so I will set forth an initial primer in this post. (If you are not familiar with Lent and Easter celebrations, particularly by Catholics, you might not appreciate the humor…that is, if it’s actually funny to begin with…if the Pope chastises me I’ll know that it was hilarious to everyone else outside the Vatican)

The Season of Kent and Celebration of Greaster

The weeks leading up to Greaster Sunday are known as Kent. It is unclear whether this is recognition of the combination of quiet banality and hapless nerdiness that is Clark Kent, secret identity of Superman (as the season is a celebration of things both human and superhuman) or simply that the fact that the founders of Kent and Greaster got their good weed from a guy named Kent Rawlings. In any case, during Kent you are encouraged to pledge to give something up for the entire Kenten season until Greaster is over, but to cave in within six days and double the usage of whatever it was you gave up to begin with.

Alternately, you may choose to simply skip the giving up of anything and pick up a new vice to indulge in during the entirety of Kent.

There are some notable days during Kent, the most important and final of which is, of course, Greaster.

Rash Wednesday

The celebration of Rash Wednesday, which happens early in the Kenten season, typically involves the temporary reddening of one’s forehead to simulate a rash, but more importantly is a day during which we reflect on all the rash decisions we made since the previous Kenten season and then pick out the most humorous or disastrous one and repeat it before midnight.

Strolly Thursday

As the day of Greaster looms near in a few days, you need to burn off some calories, so please take several long walks on this day. You are encouraged during these walks to give money to any homeless people you may pass, help the elderly and children to cross the street, and to trip any annoying hipsters or loud teenage douchebags who get too close to you.

Wood Friday

Of course, you should celebrate the glory, lifegiving powers and long-lived solemnity of trees on this day. That is, if you don’t have any knowledge of what “wood” really means in the grand circle of life. If you do, get to making the nasty boot-knocking stuff and whittle away at that wood. If you are a lesbian couple, get out (or purchase) a strap-on surrogate…your wood, of course, will last a lot longer, you lucky bastards…

Greaster Sunday

There is a more commercial side to Greaster that involves the Greaster Bunny, who leaves take-out containers with fried food in them. Curly fries are a common gift left by the Greaster Bunny, but fried mushrooms, hush puppies, mozzarella sticks and Buffalo wings are also popular.

On the more spiritual side, it is a day for meateaters, vegans, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, fruitarians and almost all others (except for macrobiotic nutcases) to come together at a single table and commune over the holiness of all things greasy and fried, from deep-fried Oreos (a traditional starting appetizer) to fried green tomatoes to chicken fried steak to vegetable tempura and egg rolls (and more).

Some of the more carnally oriented celebrants of Greaster whose passions were not slaked by Wood Friday might celebrate other uses of things greasy.

Happy Greaster!


Deacon Unplugged

So, as has become usual, I pop in, leave for a few days (or more), then pop back. To some extent it’s just being busy, or not having anything pressing to talk about.

But to a small extent these days, it’s also me unplugging a little from the Internet.

You see, I decided to give up something for Lent, which is a practice I haven’t done much these past 25 years or so. Our pastor talked a bit about giving stuff up for Lent around the beginning of the Lenten season, and brought up the point that lots of people have gotten into the trend of “doing something positive” instead for Lent. That is, picking up better habits or volunteering or getting involved in some special cause. It sounds nice on the surface (and it is nice, really), but as he pointed out, there is something to be said for giving something up. Not because of the “sacrifice” aspect necessarily but to discover things in our lives that perhaps are distractions from our spirituality, our families, our growth, etc.

Following a similar example of my wife, who vowed to cut down on her Internet time, I decided to give up Twitter and Facebook for Lent. Originally, I had intended only to cease regular and thorough checking of the social media. I would still check out posts and tweets from people whom I know in real life or regularly communicate with online.

Very quickly, though, I found that I wasn’t checking either site out at all for days at a time. I had taken my “sacrifice” even farther than I intended, and it was actually a nice feeling.

So nice that I thought, “Should I give up something harder to give up?”

But that isn’t the point, I realized. I had found something that was sucking at my time, and distracting me from other things, and tiring me out frankly. Trying to keep up with tweets in particular (I felt like I had to keep up with things, so I wouldn’t miss something interesting in the mass of tweets every day) was sometimes exhausting, and far from satisfying.

I’m not saying that I’m giving up Twitter and Facebook altogether; I think they have value and I plan to go back to them after Lent. But when I do, I plan to pare things down, particularly on Twitter, so that the only people I follow are people whom I know (virtually or in real life) or who truly add regular value to my life with their comments and sharing.

Giving up something for Lent has helped me find myself, find more time, and eliminate distractions. Even if that hasn’t translated into time solely and purely for spiritual reflection, it has renewed my spirit.

And so at almost 42 years of age, I’ve discovered something about Lent and larger purposes of “sacrifice.”

Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley


Jeff Bouley

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June 2023

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