Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the forty-day-long Lent. The main message passed along during this time is focused on the spiritual preparation for the miracle of Christ’s Resurrection. The events leading up to the Resurrection are the foundation of the Church and the faith as we know it. Because these are the most important holidays in the Christian faith, they demand special preparation to be able to live through them properly. Hence why we take upon ourselves Lent. Christianity, however, isn’t the only religion practicing Lent. It is known and observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches throughout the world. Its basic rules and structures also find their roots in other religions and philosophies across the globe, in which the healing and cleansing properties of fasting, repentance, and humility are widely appreciated and incorporated into practice.
Historically speaking, Lent has taken on various forms before it achieved the form familiar to us today. In the early centuries, Lent only included Good Friday and Holy Saturday. In the 3rd century A.D., fasting has already been practiced for an entire week. By 4th century A.D., in memory of Jesus’ forty-day-long fasting in the desert and the Israelites forty-year-long wandering after their escape from Egypt, the Lent was stretched to forty days. In the 7th century A.D., it was adopted that Lent should start on the Sunday exactly six weeks prior to Easter Sunday. However, since Sundays are excluded from Lent in order to keep the forty days of penance, the beginning of Lent had to occur on a Wednesday. Hence why we have Ash Wednesday. Since the year 1570, it has become customary within the Church to show signs of repentance by having ashes sprinkled on one’s head to remember the true value of life alongside God. After the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the Sundays of Lent took on the names first, second, third, fourth, fifth, while the sixth became known as Palm Sunday. Lent lasts until Good Thursday, which in turn starts the great three-day celebration known as Easter Triduum.
When it comes to the spirituality of Lent, it is all about what the Church calls “metanoia”, or a more enduring attachment to God, devotion of the human heart solely to Him, and reconciliation with others, expressed through more self-control in eating and drinking; greater involvement in the word of God, made possible through your parish; avoiding unnecessary distractions in the forms of loud parties and gatherings; a greater focus on prayer, the one done in private as well as in groups; showing more sensitivity when it comes to the needs of others; using the sacrament of penance and reconciliation; participation in various Lent-related activities and the taking-up of various selfless acts, such as simple generosity of heart, a smile, and kindness towards others.
All of those actions serve to show us that the first primary operator in our lives is God, who is capable of steering our lives in the proper direction, heal our potential losses in sin and pride and get us back on track, and stop us in our tracks towards constant striving for material goods. From time to time we feel a lack of the presence of a similar time in our lives. This sacred reflection at least once a year bring out our humanity and our sensitivity to God and to other people.
During this special time, we customarily take on a unique diet that is to reflect we are undergoing a rare and uncommon period in our lives. Most commonly consisting of traditional and not overly lavish foods, resembling those consumed by the early Christians of the time. We put our best bet on breads and fish, avoiding any extravagant meats, sweets, and such. Being on a diet such as this for forty days, you want to be consuming high quality delicious foods while maintaining the humble qualities of Lent. There is no better choice than Lowell Foods products – guaranteeing quality over all else.
Our wide assortment of Lowell fish are bound to blend in perfectly as part of your Lent diet. Our herring fillets in creamy sauces, in vinegar, and rolled into small coils come in a variety of different preparation methods, flavorings, and such. From dill and prunes and raisins to sour cream and mustard sauce and tartar sauce to marinated with an abundance of vegetables and spices, our Lowell herring fillets are one of the best choices you could make for this Lent with never-ending variety. Additionally, our original hardwood smoked mackerel, rainbow trout, and whitefish are a great choice – all natural, made according to an old world recipe. Also, try our salmon fillets with capers – small rolls of first-rate salmon fillets marinated with capers to bring out their utmost flavor. One thing is for certain – that each individual can find the perfect fish at Lowell Foods depending on his or her specific taste preferences.