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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Entertaining Those Who Are Abstaining

For most Christians, Lent is a time sacrifice, prayer, and reflection. It is about the things we do, and the things we don't do. We give up our addictions, material comforts, and distractions so we can focus more on our spiritual life and relationship with God. Considering that I am Catholic, I am writing this post from a Catholic perspective, but I'm sure it will be relatable to Protestants, and people who have Catholic friends, as well. So, what should you expect when you invite a Catholic (or are invited by a Catholic) to dinner during Lent?
It is important to understand the basics of what to expect. Some Catholics refrain from large parties, and social gatherings during Lent. If they decline your invitation, just know they will be back on the social scene after Easter, and ready to feast! Catholics must abstain from meat on Friday's with the exception of fish. Allergic to fish? How about pasta, salad, or cheese pizza? Most Catholics I know tend to give up alcohol, and sweets for Lent, so if you bring your hostess a bottle of wine, or a lovely dessert, don't be surprised if she kindly thanks you, and then puts it away out of sight.

Many Catholic's have very specific things they have given up for Lent that need to be considered when entertaining. For some it may be meat, or bread, or even large meals. If you know you are inviting a Catholic over for dinner it would be best to ask what they can, or can't eat. However, making sure to serve something that all of your guests will enjoy is basic etiquette during any day of the year.

During Lent, each Sunday is considered a "Mini Easter," and some Catholics take this day off from their Lenten sacrifices. For those who do "take Sunday off" this is the perfect day to invite them over during Lent with no restrictions. Again, make sure to ask first, because a lot of Catholics do not take Sundays off, choosing to see it through until the end.

Rest assured, in six weeks time your Catholic friends will be breaking out that bottle of wine, thawing out that fabulous dessert, and ready for some celebratory fun!

What did you give up, or choose to do, for Lent this year?

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