Saturday, March 24, 2007

Have a pretzel for Lent

A cool bit of history find the origins of the "pretzel"(in German) or bracellae(little arms in Latin). Early Christians in Rome abstained from butter, eggs, cream, milk and meat. The bracellae were simply flour, water and salt and sybolized crossed arms so they were a popular lenten food. Here are two links for information on this tradition:
Customs For Lent and Pretzels for God: Lent and the Pretzel
We are always looking for interesting ways to bring tradition into our home for liturgical seasons. They have inexpensive soft "pretzel kits" now at many supermarkets. This would be a cool lesson for the children if used with the history. Here is a prayer that was found:

We beg you, O Lord, to bless these breads which are to remind us that Lent is a sacred season of penance and prayer. For this very reason, the early Christians started the custom of making these breads in the form of arms crossed in prayer. Thus they kept the holy purpose of Lent alive in their hearts from day to day, and increased in their souls the love of Christ, even unto death, if necessary.

Grant us, we pray, that we too, may be reminded by the daily sight of these pretzels to observe the holy season of Lent with true devotion and great spiritual fruit. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

--With ecclesiastical approbation.

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