Lent 2016 (or 사순절 in Korean) officially starts today, February 10, 2016. Today is also Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. Additionally, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.
You can get ashed at Hannam-dong International Parish. Their mass tonight is at 7:30 PM. Please go to the church early because this is the only church that will say mass in English today. Directions can be read below.
Lenten Traditions in the Universal Church
Since I don’t have any kind of information on what the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seoul practices during Lent, here are some of the practices done in the universal church:
- Fasting. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards (Note to Koreans: The age here is your non-Korean international age, the same way many people around the world count their age except in China and Korea). Update: Skipping one meal is the practice in Korea.
- Abstinence. Abstinence refers to abstaining from eating specific kinds of meat (chicken, pork, beef and other kinds of land animals). Abstinence law applies to all Fridays of Lent. Fish and seafood are allowed to be eaten during all Fridays of Lent.
An inforgraphic is displayed below for reference (taken from smcchurch.org):
For more information, you may click here.
Sad to say, there is no Fillet-O-Fish in McDonald’s in Korea. You can opt for Burger King’s BK Fish in the mean time (According to this post, BK Fish is being served in Burger King restaurants across the country) or Subway Sandwich’s Tuna sandwich.
For more information about the practices of Catholics during Lent, click here.
Getting to Hannam-dong International Parish
Getting there using public transportation
To go to Hannam-dong International Parish, the fastest way is to go to Hangangjin Station Line 6 (한강진역 6호선) and go to the bus stop near exit 3. From there, you can ride any bus going to Suncheonhyang University Hospital bus stop (순천향병원 정류장).
Getting there by taxi
To go there by taxi, just tell the taxi driver:
Italia daesagwan ka ju-se-yo. (이탈리아 대사관 가주세요.)
The phrase above literally means, “Please take me to the Italian embassy.” Hannam-dong International Parish is beside the Italian Embassy.
Vince is always doing his best to provide you with the most up to date information on Catholic expat life in Korea. If you are a priest or if you happen to know the practices of the Archdiocese of Seoul in Korea during Ash Wednesday and Lent, please contact Vince by posting comments below.