|(Image from ianyan e-magazine)|
I’m taking this opportunity to re-post the following item regarding the Lenten Season as it relates to the Armenian Church. During the next few weeks, I will post some more appropriate recipes to help you through this period. We already have a fair number of Lenten recipes in our repertoire. Just type 'lent' in the search box, and this will direct you to numerous delicious recipes.
If, by chance, you have a Lenten recipe to share, I’d love to hear from you (firstname.lastname@example.org), then you could become one of our ‘Reader Features’, too!
Lent, as all Christians know, commemorates the 40 days of fasting of Jesus Christ. This year, the first day of Lent in the Armenian Church begins today, Monday, February 16th.
According to the book Saints and Sacraments of the Armenian Church by Bishop S. Kaloustian, Lent begins on the Monday following the Sunday of Poon Paregentan or "day of good living," which is a time to feast before the fasting of Lent begins, and ends the evening of the Friday before Palm Sunday.
Lent is a time of self-discipline. We are instructed to "examine ourselves, strengthen our character, renew our purpose in life, and to make penance to correct our faults, weaknesses and sins." At the same time, we resolve "to be more humble, more gentle, and exercise self-control over our appetites."
Humans have many appetites, of course, and many of the faithful try to keep the whole range in check by avoiding dances and other amusements.
Sadly, there's no loophole for us food lovers.
In fact, the Armenian church is stricter than most Western Churches when it comes to food abstinence during Lent. Western Churches generally call for abstaining from meat, but Eastern Christians abstain from "all kinds of flesh meat, including fish, and all other animal foods, i.e. dairy products and eggs."
Of course, this was a bit less of a challenge in the days when meat and eggs weren't necessarily part of the daily routine. These days, at least here in America, we don't know many people who follow Lenten law to the letter.
But many of us do give up one or more of our favorite foods, while others take the opportunity to get in touch with their inner-vegetarian.