Sr. Elaine Marie and I have fun teasing about ham. We take turns providing organ accompaniment for Mass here in our chapel.
A recent discussion about the music for Ash Wednesday took a humorous turn when I reminded her that ‘we’re not supposed to have ham during Lent.’ When talking about her enjoyment in adding extra notes and musical ornamentation to songs, Sr. Elaine likes to say: “I love to ham it up!”
However, according to liturgical directives for this more solemn Lenten season, musical instruments are only to be used during Mass to provide necessary support for the singing (or something to that effect).
What makes this fun is that Lent is a time for more abstinence from meat. Teasing about ham not being allowed (in reference to music) fits in with the dietary restrictions involved in this penitential time.
Directives do allow, however, for ‘ham’ on solemnities as well as the fourth Sunday of Lent. Maybe we can have ham and eggs on that occasion.
Actually, I have learned that, in times past, eggs were also not allowed during Lent. Here at St. Anne’s, we have the tradition of serving potato pancakes on Fat Tuesday. Pancakes were commonly made on that day to help use up the eggs in one’s house before Lent started.