A few facts as to why the Church takes a little break in this period of abstinence
WE RECOMMEND: 6 Lent crafts & activities for the whole family
So historically on this third Thursday of Lent, similar to Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday, we would empty our reserves so as not to waste any leftover eggs that could not be conserved more than 20 days. We therefore got into the habit of making pancakes, donuts or other sweet pastries. Then for the following 20 days we would re-stock eggs in preparation for the Easter celebrations. Nowadays the regulations for Lenten fasting and abstinence are less rigorous. We also have fridges to keep all our eggs fresh, and a fresh supply readily available from our local supermarkets or farmers’ markets on demand! So along the way Mid-Lent has lost its meaning.
Although we might not be so strict with our fasting habits, the modern-day Church does recognize this mid-way period. In the liturgy, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, the Church takes a break from its regular Lenten purple liturgical vestments—the color of penance. On this day priests are given the opportunity to wear rose-colored vestments (a mix of purple and white): rose being the color of dawn, offering a glimpse of the joy we’re all preparing for in the coming of the resurrection of Jesus. This is known as Laetare Sunday from the Latin meaning rejoice.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?