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Thoughts on Lent

As a Catholic University, Seton Hall follows the traditions surrounding Lent, a time where Catholics and other Christians prepare for the celebration of Easter. For some students, Lent is also a time where they search for the meaning in their self and the act of giving things up.

Some students said they believe Lent is more than just giving something up for 40 days.

"I think people have the wrong idea about Lent," Sophomore Michael Balakonis said. "Everybody focuses on giving up something."

According to Balakonis, Lent is a time where you examine personal barriers and boundaries.

"Lent reminds you that there is a better life, and that life is in Christ," he said.

Lent is the part of the liturgical year starting on Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is to prepare people, through prayer, penitence, alms giving and self-denial, for the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.

Seton Hall offers mass services on the Sundays during Lent as well as on High Holy Days such as Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Gourmet Dining Services, also complied with the tradition of abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday.

Freshman Matt Power said he believes being at a Catholic institution has some influence over the student body.

"I think the influence of going to a Catholic institution is small, but it seems like it's there," Power said.

While Power believes in the tradition he said he did not participate in Lent this year.

"I really should have because I am a religious person," he said. "I'm just bogged down with a lot of work so I haven't put a lot of thought to it this year."

Other than religious reasons, many students cite influence from their friends as a reason they participate in Lent.

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"I think I gave something up partly because a lot of my friends also give something up but I also try to use it as a time to improve myself as a human being," sophomore Katie Moore said. She says she gave up saying mean things about others.

Sophomore Marissa Breton, who gave up energy drinks, agrees influence from friends has some impact on the decision to participate in Lent." Breton said, "I don't think it matters, though. Everyone can benefit from having an incentive to do something to better themselves."

Though many students see Lent as a time to give something up, it is also a time of prayer in the Catholic tradition.

"I usually take something positive up during Lent too. I'm trying to say the rosary twice a week," Balakonis said.

The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception will have special services throughout the remainder of the Lenten season.

Alyana Alfaro can be reached at


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