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Celebrating the Liturgical Year with Seasonal Foods: A Timeless Tradition

A bowl of fresh figs.

As I began my journey through the liturgical year, I often wondered how we got the food traditions that we have. For instance, why do we eat watermelon at the Feast of St. Bartholomew? Why do we eat Cuccia made from wheat berries for the Feast of St. Lucia? The answer is actually quite simple because those things were in season at the time of the feast day!

Throughout history, Christians around the world celebrated the liturgical year with meals that reflected the seasons. They gathered whatever was fresh and available in their region, creating dishes that honored both their faith and the God-created natural cycles of the earth. This practice wasn't just about practicality; it was a profound way of living in harmony with God's creation, appreciating the gifts He provides throughout the year.

In our modern world, where convenience often trumps tradition, it's easy to forget the richness that comes from eating seasonally. Yet, there is something profoundly grounding about returning to this practice. When we choose to celebrate the liturgical year with foods that are in season, we reconnect with the natural rhythms established by a loving God who blesses us with bounty.

Practical Ways to Get Started

  1. Know Your Seasons: Start by familiarizing yourself with what’s in season in your area. Local farmers' markets are great places to learn about seasonal produce and even gain inspiration for your meals.

  2. Plan Liturgical Feasts: As you plan your liturgical celebrations, think about how you can incorporate seasonal foods into your menus. For example, a Lenten soup could feature fresh spring greens, while an Advent dessert might use winter spices and preserved fruits.

  3. Try Traditional Recipes: Look up traditional recipes that align with the liturgical seasons. Many of these dishes have been passed down through generations and are deeply rooted in the seasonal bounty of their regions.

  4. Get Creative: Don’t be afraid to get creative and adapt recipes based on what’s available. The goal is to honor the spirit of the season and the liturgical celebration, not to follow recipes rigidly.

  5. Involve the Family: Make this a family affair. Involve your children in picking out seasonal produce, cooking, and learning about the liturgical significance of each meal. It’s a wonderful way to teach them about faith, gratitude, and the natural world.


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