Uvanlige Askeonsdag

NO pictures today – just a bit of a rant.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday – the beginning of lent. We are learning new vocabulary for this season, and it is interesting to see how the language might reveal differing cultural understandings:

  • Shrove Tuesday -> Fetetirsdag (lit. fat Tuesday)
  • Ash Wednesday – Askeonsdag (lit. ash Wednesday)
  • Lent – Fastetiden (lit. fasting time)
  • Maunday Thursday – Skjærtorsdag (lit. cutting / shearing Thursday)
  • Good Friday – Langfredag (lit. long Friday)
  • Easter – Påske

Uvanlige means unusual. Ash Wednesday was somewhat unusual here in that it was ‘ash free’. It seems that here, as in so many places, names and forms have been kept without the substance! For example, despite the name Fastetiden, it’s apparently almost unheard of to fast in Lent (or even participate in the somewhat ‘whimpy’ giving up of chocolate). Then there is the  original Lenten practice of fasting 6 days a week and celebrating the resurrection with feasting  on Sundays which has been so ignored / ‘inverted’, that most people make no change to their lives in the week, and if they come to church on Sundays, worship is penitential. And Paul’s encouragement to “be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (Ephesians 5: 19) is now fulfilled by sitting in rows so no-one can address anyone else in a meaningful way, whilst the choir is often out of sight on a gallery. Hmm . . .

On with the reformation!

3 responses to “Uvanlige Askeonsdag

  1. Here, here!!!!

  2. Pingback: Vakker | Arctic Organist

  3. I had a bit of the same experience regarding lent and in the end produced a little flyer about fasting etc. It has led to a new awareness of when “fastetiden” is all about and some of my congregation now fast. There are some free church congregations who still practice fasting in lent over here as well.

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