Traditional Foods for Lent

One of the many beautiful Catholic customs is the celebration of Lent. Lent refers to the forty days that Christ spent in the desert. It is a tradition that Catholics attend Confession at least once during the Lent season. Many Catholics spend the Lent season as a forty day spiritual retreat. During this time special prayers for the Lent season are said and some of these prayers include the beautiful Seven Penitential Psalms and St. Ephraem, Doctor of the Church. Another very important part of the celebration of Lent is food. Fasting and abstinence is another tradition that Catholics follow. During the Lent season, Ash Wednesday, all Fridays and all Saturdays should contain three meatless meals and no snacking.

Traditional foods for Lent usually include meatless soup, vegetables, seafood, salads, beans and pasta. Hot Cross Buns are a favorite and are usually eaten for breakfast on Good Friday. These rules for the Universal Church during the season of Lent is based on the 1983 Code of Canon Law. Lent is also celebrated in the East. There are a few symbols that are used to represent the Lent season and they are the Cross, Crown of Thorns, Three Nails, Chalice, and Host. Purple is the beautiful color that represents Lent. Food like pretzels have a very symbolic meaning as well. The three holes of the pretzel represent the Holy Trinity. Many Catholics have special recipes for large, soft and chewy pretzels that they use to make them during the Lent season. These traditions are always passed on to their children.

In the East, local traditions vary during the Lent season. Pre Lenten festivals are a tradition as well, where festivals and carnivals take place in many cultures. One of the famous of these carnivals takes place in New Orleans and it is called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. In ancient times, the rules of Lent were more severe than based on the modern society of today. During ancient times no animals products were eaten. In some places, Catholics consumed only bread. During the early Middle Ages, no meat, eggs or dairy products were consumed because they were forbidden. Today, many Catholics choose to give up a certain food that may be their favorite during the season of Lent. Others may choose to give up going to the movies or playing games. During the season of Lent, it is a tradition for many churches to hold sunrise services.

1. Lent
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3. The story of Lent and recipes to see you through the holy days …

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