We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, and we respect and honor with gratitude the land itself, the legacy of the ancestors, and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

God’s Garden makes pretzels for Lent, Feb. 25

Pretzels for Lent date back to the early Church, perhaps sometime in the 4th century. During that time it was common for Christians to fast during the season, abstaining from meat, dairy, fats, and sweets. These quick breads are made with only a tiny bit of sugar to activate the yeast and no fat – they are entirely flour, water and yeast! The simplicity of water, salt, and flour suggested commitment and attention, not least also prayer.

As to the shape: pretzels are made in the shape of two arms crossed in prayer. In Latin, the pretzel is called “bracellae”, meaning little arms. The word “bracellae” became the German “bretzel” and “pretzel.”

Another story places the origin of the word in “pretiola” which means little reward, so pretzels might have been given as an award to a child who had learned her prayers!

The children had fun making pretzels and they even sent some home. The dough was bought so that the activity could fit in the time frame and still have time to work on the Lord’s Prayer.

Here’s a photo gallery showing the steps in making these Lenten treats

(full size gallery)