Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium

Lent-msg



This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

Lent-msg – 5/9/09

 

Medieval Lenten practices and restrictions. Recreating these in the Current Middle Ages. Food restrictions.

 

NOTE: See also the files: religion-msg, indulgences-msg, Psaltrs-Rose-lnks, Puritans-msg, fish-feast-art, fish-msg, fasts-msg, eggs-msg, vegetarian-msg.

 

************************************************************************

NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

************************************************************************

 

Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 11:22:39 -0800

From: "Nick Sasso" <grizly at mindspring.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Speaking of Lent....

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> -----Original Message-----

> Maire, you could have got away with eating chicken soup! You

> would have needed an exemption from your local bishop, but if

> you were ill (or rich!) enough you would have been allowed it

> for medicinal purposes. Just remember that this time! ;-D

>

> Lucrezia

 

This is a piece of the Medieval Lent that should not be overlooked.  It is

truly amazing to read about the various many possible means of obtaining

indulgences for the person and/or household.  The humanitarian acts and

monetary donations as well as devotional activities all carried potential

for plenary or other indulgences that are quite very useful during lent.  My

vision is that the nobility did truly have to follow the cannon on Lenten

'fasting', but also had resources to mitigate the sacrifices needed.

 

You might find some even more fulfilling challenges seeking out ways to

obtain indulgences and performing those during your real lent this year in

order to get indulgence for food options, and get a different feel for the

medieval Lenten experience.

 

If they were prevalent enough for Brother Martin to stick a dagger in the

door, then they must have been pretty well utilized.  Sure, money was a huge

factor, but there were other means of obtaining them on your own behalf by

making pilgrimages, OBSERVING SAINT VENERATION AND FEAST DAYS.  You might

also look into the feast days as opportunities in the Middle Ages.  They had

LOTs of them for real reasons . . . like lent.  you may find that observance

of Saints' officially sanctioned feast days sets aside the dietary

restrictions . . . maybe not . . . depends on time and place.

 

The Lenten thing is a pervasive socio-economic facet of life.  I've got no

sources for anything at this point, but remember finding piles about it when

researching in High School.  Really fill out the picture.

 

niccolo difrancesco

(yup, them Franciscans had indulgences, but not for money)

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 14:48:03 -0500

From: "Lonnie D. Harvel" <ldh at ece.gatech.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Speaking of Lent....

To: lonnie.harvel at ece.gatech.edu,   Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

A much more useful site... A TI article from 2003:

http://anvil.unl.edu/agnes/RecreatingLent.htm

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 06:10:19 -0800 (PST)

From: Marcus Loidolt <mjloidolt at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Lenten stufff, chickens, fish and vegetarians...

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Middle Eastern Lent, that is Orthodox Great Fast starts NOT on March  

1st but on February 27th, the Monday before Western Ash  

Wednesday...Rome and the West counts the Sundays...the East does not...

 

   Also bear in mind that for the West, one might be allowed fish or  

other cold blooded animals on Fridays and so forth, not so in the  

East. According to St. John Chrysostom in the 3rd.cent. "let no food  

derived from any spined thing pass your lips on these days of the  

Great Fast..." "Keep with Joy and Feasting the Day of Resurrection,  

let every Sunday be filled with joy, music and feasting for all!"

 

   So that even today in the Eastern Church, both Catholic and  

Orthodox, one will find the observant faithful ABSTAINING from meat,  

but consuming dairy and egg products on Tuesdays, Thursdays and  

Saturdays, and FASTING from all animal products on Mondays,  

Wednesdays, and Fridays. While Sunday, again being the Day of  

Resurrection, is forbidden to fast and so one might enjoy non-spined/

invertabrates and dairy, as well as foods which might have a meat  

broth or gravy but which is less than 1% of the dish.

 

   Abot Johann von Metten

   medieval poultrier

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 06:34:50 -0800 (PST)

From: Marcus Loidolt <mjloidolt at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 33, Issue 33

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Benedicte,

  Indeed, the devotional practices of alms-giving and prayer vigils  

were not and are not a way to make excuse for the mishaps in the  

fasting regimes, but were/are and intrical part of the whole Great  

Fast/Lent experience.

 

  There are many ways to observe Lent, the sick and the young and  

the aged are always exempt from the fasting regime, but not from the  

core message of the Great Fast, to prepare for the Resurrection by an  

increase in devotions and depth of prayer and rightousness of life.

 

  "The Fasting and Abstainence stops the pollution, but it is by  

prayer and good works that one cleans the house"

  St. Macrina the Great, 3rd. century Ceasarea in Cappadocia

 

  Johann

 

sca-cooks-request at ansteorra.org wrote:

  This is a piece of the Medieval Lent that should not be  

overlooked. It is

truly amazing to read about the various many possible means of obtaining

indulgences for the person and/or household. The humanitarian acts and

monetary donations as well as devotional activities all carried potential

for plenary or other indulgences that are quite very useful during lent. My

vision is that the nobility did truly have to follow the cannon on Lenten

'fasting', but also had resources to mitigate the sacrifices needed.

 

niccolo difrancesco

(yup, them Franciscans had indulgences, but not for money)

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 19:38:41 -0800 (PST)

From: Marcus Loidolt <mjloidolt at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Lenten ideas for non Christians...

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Benedicte,

  Yes, the eastern rite may consume such seafood as mentioned...on  

Sundays, please note that this is not a reprieve granted for the  

weak, but rather an understanding of the nature of the Day of  

Resurrection, which every Sunday is.

 

  What would/could a non Christian do as a devotion for Lent? Well,  

every religion has it's own prayer and meditational cycle...enhance  

this with the point of encouraging and meditating on the concept of  

new life, redemption, change from death to life, dark to light, bad  

to good, good to better, ect...The core concept is change and our  

being prepared for it. What to do? Give alms, care for the poor,  

encourage new growth for the benefit of others, heal old wounds,  

repair damaged relationships, ect...

 

  Maire, a 14th century Irish woman, you'd probably be spending  

additional time at church devotions, the way of the cross was just  

gaining popularity as a substitute for the dangerous pilgrimage to  

Jerusalem. Collecting and dispersing alms to the poor and indigent of  

the area, helping those who might already be doing so. You might also  

use this time to sort seeds and decide your poultry breeding stock,  

even if you lived in town you'd have a few hens...

 

  Johann

 

  ------------------------------

 

Non-spined/invertebrates would include things like bivalves and crustaceans,

right? That would give the eastern-rite folks some fishy things, for sure!

I'm not actually sure if I'm going to do the Sunday-as-a-reprieve-from-fasting or not. I'd like to see if I can do the whole 40 days, since my persona is quite distinctly religious, enough so, that I don't think I'd be fudging it for anything except dire need (illness

or some such).

 

--Maire, who finds it odd but amusing that *she* is deeply religious and

Sue, who pays the bills, is also deeply religious, but one is Catholic, and

the other, Wiccan

 

 

Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 21:56:20 -0800

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lenten stufff, chickens, fish and

        vegetarians...

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

Abot Johann von Metten wroter:

> Middle Eastern Lent, that is Orthodox Great Fast starts NOT on March

> 1st but on February 27th, the Monday before Western Ash

> Wednesday...Rome and the West counts the Sundays...the East does

> not...

>

>   Also bear in mind that for the West, one might be allowed fish or

> other cold blooded animals on Fridays and so forth, not so in the

> East. According to St. John Chrysostom in the 3rd.cent. "let no food

> derived from any spined thing pass your lips on these days of the

> Great Fast..." "Keep with Joy and Feasting the Day of Resurrection,

> let every Sunday be filled with joy, music and feasting for all!"

>

>   So that even today in the Eastern Church, both Catholic and

> Orthodox, one will find the observant faithful ABSTAINING from meat,

> but consuming dairy and egg products on Tuesdays, Thursdays and

> Saturdays, and FASTING from all animal products on Mondays,

> Wednesdays, and Fridays. While Sunday, again being the Day of

> Resurrection, is forbidden to fast and so one might enjoy non

> spined/invertabrates and dairy, as well as foods which might have a

> meat broth or gravy but which is less than 1% of the dish.

 

I know you are quite knowledgeable about the Eastern Orthodox Church,

and i expect what you wrote to be true in Byzantium. But in the Near

East (Egypt, Syria, etc.) there were many different Christian sects,

some of which are there to this day. Their practices "in period" were

a little different from the Eastern Church, although i don't have

lots of details. I know that fish recipes (one of which i made last

year - fish with sesame paste sauce) are included in the Lenten

recipes in The Book of the Description of Familiar Food.

 

The book also says that any normal recipes can be made in Lent, as

long as meat is not included.

--

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 09:51:33 -0500

From: "Christine Seelye-King" <kingstaste at mindspring.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Lent Approaches

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I'm working on my next Living History class feast for Thursday, and since it

is so close to Mardis Gras, I'm going to do two courses, one for Shrove

Tuesday, and one for Lent.  

 

In the past we've discussed variations such as eating a period but not

necessarily Lenten diet; giving up dairy, eggs and meat but not sugar,

alcohol, etc; doing just one week such as Holy Week (last week before

Easter); etc.

 

Since I'm the French Toast Laurel(TM), I am going to embrace the whole

pancake/waffle/French toast concept for the Shrove Tuesday course. I was

thinking Golden Balls would be a good choice.

 

I have a hard time believing this story isn't apocryphal, but I have  

found it in several areas and it does sound like a good activity for the  

class:

 

In England there are several celebrations on this day but perhaps the best

known one is the Pancake Day Race at Olney in Buckinghamshire which has been

held since 1445. The race came about when a woman cooking pancakes heard the

shriving bell summoning her to confession. She ran to church wearing her

apron and still holding her frying pan, and thus without knowing it,  

started a tradition that has lasted for over five hundred years.

 

According to the current rules, only women wearing a dress, no slacks or

jeans, an apron and a hat or scarf, may take part in the race. Each

contestant has a frying pan containing a hot, cooking pancake. She must toss

it three times during the race that starts at the market square at 11.55 am.

The winner is the first woman to complete the winding 375 meter course (the

record is 63 seconds set in 1967) and arrive at the church, serve her

pancake to the bellringer and be kissed by him. She also receives a prayer

book from the vicar.

 

Also for my class, I found this Lenten Alms Jar activity on a Christian

site, I think we may do some sort of variation on it:

 

Lenten Alms Jar

 

This alms jar performs the two-fold purpose of demonstrating to children the

importance of almsgiving and contributing money to the poor.

 

Directions

 

The whole family can enter into the spirit of saving for alms. A glass jar

is placed at the center of the table on Ash Wednesday, and all the money

each family member saves as a result of self-denial from smoking, eating

candy, going to movies or similar activities is put into it. The mother,

buying simpler and cheaper foods for Lenten meals, puts the difference into

the jar at meal time - so all can see where the cost of the dessert went!

The children spend the first weeks of Lent investigating needy causes and

charitable organizations and missions. They will have the responsibility of

determining who gets the alms-fund.

 

Christianna

 

 

Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 19:23:07 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Lent Approaches

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Sorry to play spoiler. I looked this up and it's probably more urban

myth or folklore than period.

 

"The most famous, at Olney (Buckinghamshire) claims as its origin legend

that back in 1445 a woman rushed off to church on hearing the shriving

bell, still holding her frying pan. Its real age is hard to establish.

It is not mentioned in Wright and Lones, which must mean not only that

it was not held in the 1930s but that there were no references to it in

older works. What is certain is that soon after the Second World War the

vicar "revived" it..."

 

They point out that they made it nicely 500 years 1445-1945.... which

makes the dating even more suspect.

 

"pancake races" /A Dictionary of English Folklore/. Jacqueline Simpson

and Steve Roud. Oxford University Press, 2000. /Oxford Reference  

Online/.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2008 23:08:37 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] weird question - honey fast???

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

More from

Google Books this evening

 

The Festal Year; Or, The Origin, History, Ceremonies and Meaning of the

Sundays, Seasons, Feasts and Festivals of the Church During the Year,

Explained for the People: Or, The Origin, History, Ceremonies and

Meaning of the Sundays, Seasons, Feasts and Festivals of the Church

During the Year ...

By James Luke Meagher

Published by Russell Brothers, 1883

 

Among the Greeks and the nations of the west of Asia,

on Septuagesima Sunday they published the rules and

regulations of Lent. From the following Monday they

use no meat, but eat what they call "White Meats," as

eggs, cheese, butter and things of that kind, while on the

Monday before Ash Wednesday, their Lent begins with

all its rigors. From that time they eat neither meat,

eggs, cheese or even fish. The only things allowed are

bread, fruits, honey, and for those who live near the sea,

shell-fish. Wine, for a long time forbidden, is drank no

more among them.

 

Johnnae

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org