A Serving of Capon for Carnival

Peasant Wedding Feast. Pieter Bruegel the Elder

“O Lord, refresh our sensibilities. Give us this day our daily taste. Restore to us soups that spoons will not sink in, and sauces which are never the same twice. Raise up among us stews with more gravy than we have bread to blot it with, and casseroles that put starch and substance in our limp modernity. Take away our fear of fat and make us glad of the oil which ran upon Aaron’s beard. Give us pasta with a hundred fillings, and rice in a thousand variations. Above all, give us grace to live as true men – to fast till we come to a refreshed sense of what we have and then to dine gratefully on all that comes to hand. Drive far from us, O Most Bountiful, all creatures of air and darkness; cast out the demons that possess us; deliver us from the fear of calories and the bondage of nutrition; and set us free once more in our own land, where we shall serve Thee as Thou hast blessed us – with the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. Amen.”

• Robert Capon, The Supper of the Lamb

15 thoughts on “A Serving of Capon for Carnival

  1. Well, that passage can’t mean having a good time now results in losing your beatitude later…

    Because if it does, once Can You Top This and Entropy sets in, you’ll end up gargling lye alongside St Rose of Lima.


  2. We’re in it. Maslenitsa, Cheesefare Week.
    In Russia, its a week of blended pagan/Christian customs surrounding the end of winter and the growing of the light. Bonfires, moderate revelry, and consumption of rich egg/dairy pastries, etc.

    It kind of makes up for not having a Hallowe’en, but not really.


  3. Well, that passage can’t mean having a good time now results in losing your beatitude later; after all, Jesus accepted invitations to lavish dinner parties and drank wine, and it would be wrong to assume he didn’t enjoy both.


  4. Do Eastern Orthodox cultures have something equivalent to Shrove/Fat Tuesday before Great Lent?


  5. There is nothing quite like the joy of Easter and the first bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich after the rigors of Great Lent.

    Truly, the body and the soul rejoice together.


  6. And yet, the signature sign of the Presence of the Holy Spirit is JOY.

    the Canticle of Mary:
    “46And Mary said:
    “My soul exalts the Lord,

    47And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

    48“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
    For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.

    49“For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
    And holy is His name.


    51“He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
    He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.

    52“He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
    And has exalted those who were humble.

    And sent away the rich empty-handed.

    54“He has given help to Israel His servant,
    In remembrance of His mercy,

    55As He spoke to our fathers,
    To Abraham and his descendants forever.”


  7. I’m trying to figure out how Jesus’ words in Luke 6 fit with Capon’s words and what you say, Robert…

    “Looking at his disciples, he said:
    ‘Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
    Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
    Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
    Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
    because of the Son of Man.
    Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
    But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have already received your comfort.
    Woe to you who are well fed now,
    for you will go hungry.
    Woe to you who laugh now,
    for you will mourn and weep.
    Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
    for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.'”


  8. When we have finished our pancakes,
    let us wish each other a Holy Lent.
    May our Lord be with us all.


  9. A dose of hedonistic revelry is a fine thing. But there is a nihilistic hunger for ecstatic, destructive negation that may look an awful like that revelry, though it is not and is certainly not a good thing. Some of us have trouble keeping the two separate — never mind the reasons why, but it is a real problem. It is fueled by a hatred of creation in an equal and opposite way from the same hatred expressed as puritanical distrust and loathing of pleasure.


  10. I’m going to watch Babette’s Feast tonight. It seems appropriate.

    Wishing all my fellow iMonkers a fat and happy Shrove Tuesday.


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