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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Facts for Lent: Week One

We've been posting daily "Facts for Lent" on Facebook. Have you missed them? Just in case, here are  the facts from this past week:

By MichaelDiederich
 (http://creativecommons.orglicenses/by-sa/2.0), GFDL
 from Wikimedia Commons
Facts for Lent # 1
While we cannot be certain of the date of the birth of Christ, we know with certainty that he was crucified on the Passover. So, while Spring festivals may have occurred at the time of the Early Christians, we can be assured that the solid foundation of the festival of Easter, or Pascha, rests, not in Pagan festivals, but in the reality of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord.

Facts for Lent #2:
In Germany, the Thursday before Ash Wednesday is known as Weiberfastnacht (Women's Carnival Night). On this day, women are allowed to cut off men's ties, (if the can get a hold of them).

Facts for Lent #3:
In places where palms are unavailable for use on Palm Sunday, it is often the custom for Ash Wednesday to bring pussy willow branches inside and place them in vases of water so the catkins will bud and stay fresh for use in place of palms on Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter).

Facts for Lent #4:
In the earliest times that Lent was observed, and to a large extent down to the present day in the Eastern Orthodox Church; Christians abstained from all animal products, including fats, meats, milk, cheese, and eggs; throughout the duration of Lent.

Facts for Lent #5:
Pretzels, which contain no milk, butter, cheese, eggs, or cream, got their start as the official "bread" of the Lenten fast.

Photo: David Benbennick - PD, via Wikimedia Commons
Facts for Lent #6:
McDonald's fish sandwich was created in 1962 by frachisee Lou Groen specifically to save his restaurant from failure due to virtually nonexistent burger sales on Fridays in his heavily Roman Catholic area. It is now available company-wide.

Facts for Lent # 7:
The word "Lent" arose in the Middle Ages as church services began to be delivered in the language of the people. At that time, the Latin word "Quadragesima" ("fortieth") began to be replaced with the word "Lent" which comes from the Germanic root Lenz, meaning "long". Hence, the word Lent meant "lengthen" and was associated with the increasingly longer days as Spring approached.

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