This morning we celebrated the Ascension of our Lord with Eucharist and balloons… but no bacon.
Somehow I had got it into my head (goodness knows how) that there would be bacon butties after the service. There weren’t. Though there were perfectly lovely croissants, with butter and jam, and plenty of tea and coffee. Our hard-working sacristan had got up ridiculously early to prepare this, and so I’m selfish and cold-hearted even to mention a word of criticism.
But, I had wanted bacon, and felt let down. So following the modern trend, I bemoaned the lack of bacon to my friends on Facebook, aware as I was, that bacon is hardly suited to any festival remotely rooted in the Jewish tradition. Yet, I humbly submit that since the Ascension was part of the new covenant, and an element of the journey towards the blessing of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and because of Peter’s experience of being told by God that “What God has made clean, you must not call profane” (Acts 10:15), bacon is a perfectly acceptable Christian festival food.
As the morning wore on my mood was lightened by various suggestions as to what food best celebrates which Festival and Feast of the liturgical calendar, and a dear neighbouring clergy friend suggested the idea of a “liturgical bake off” – something which St. Mary’s enthusiasm for cake making would be most suited to hosting.
So, working through the church year, and using the suggestions so far gleaned from tradition, Facebook friends (to whom credit and thanks) and the warped minds of my family, I offer the following as a starter, to which you are welcome to add suggestions.
Advent Sunday – Date cake
Christmas – Christmas cake (obviously), Angel Cake
Epiphany – Stargazy pie, a box of Terry’s ‘All Gold’
Candlemas (Presentation of Christ) – Pigeon Pie
Baptism of Christ – water biscuits
Temptation of Jesus – Apple crumble (because it’s a des’ert), Rock buns (also known as rock cakes)
Conversion of St. Paul – Rocky Road
Ash Wednesday – Creme brulee
Transfiguration – Battenberg (berg = mountain)
Annunciation of our Lord to the BVM – Angel Cake (again), Angel Delight
Mothering Sunday/Laetare Sunday – Simnel Cake
Good Friday – Hot Cross Buns
Easter Day – The perfect souffle, (oh, and chocolate eggs, apparently)
Ascension Day – meringues (because a ‘cloud’ hid him from their sight), not bacon it seems, and not pitta bread (because it hasn’t risen), Sc’one
Pentecost – BBQ, carrot cupcakes with little orange marzian carrots/flames, flame grilled… (whatever you fancy really)
Trinity Sunday – Three fruit marmalade, Tri-fle
Harvest – Pumpkin pie, plaited loaf
All Souls – choux pastrie (think ‘soles’), lemon sole
All Saints – iced ring doughnuts (haloes)
Christ the King – Coronation chicken, Royal jelly