Monday, April 15, 2024

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Lenten Fare
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.
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Lenten Fare

A Lenten Moment

The pretzel is a very ancient bakery item, which traditionally was eaten only during Lent. It appeared each year on Ash Wednesday and disappeared on Good Friday. It goes back at least to the fifth century: there is a Roman manuscript in the Vatican library dating from that period which shows the Lenten pretzel. As to the shape, it is made in the form of two arms crossed in prayer. The word "bracellae," or little arms, became in German "Bretzel," then "Pretzel." These early Christians ate no dairy products in Lent, so the pretzel was made only of flour, salt, and water. It was as simple as it could be.

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