Columnists

Chocolate is ‘innocent’ in the eyes of the Church. Its consumption breaks no fast Premium

20 April 2017 | by Sara Maitland

 

Symbols seem to work in an odd way. There is little obvious reason why roses should represent love or lilies purity, and eggs for Easter have long baffled folklorists and semiologists. Does the empty shell represent the empty cave-tomb? Does the shape re-call the stone rolled away from the grave mouth?

Or do the eggs symbolise new life, bursting out of the apparently dead shell – in which case dying them fancy colours, boiling and eating them seems a little macabre? Are they a Christian appropriation of some more ancient pagan ritual? Are they simply what is available after the long Lenten fast – the hens start laying again at about the right time, while the lambs are too small to eat, the cows hopefully in calf and no fresh fruit anywhere near ripe? We do not know.

And if eggs are a curious symbol for Easter, they are not at first sight anything like as peculiar as their contemporary equivalent: chocolate. Note though that I say “at first sight” because on closer inspection the total appropriateness of chocolate for celebrating Easter joy makes it almost a proof of God’s providential love (and very possibly of the divine sense of humour as well).





Register for free articles a month or subscribe now from £53* for 6 months unlimited access to article content.
Subscribe now and enjoy access to all parts of the tablet website, Including its 175 year archive...
Subscribe


Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue

Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

Same-sex marriage bill fails to protect religious freedom, warns Australian archbishop 07 August 2017 by Mark Brolly

Somaliland's only Catholic church closed days after re-opening due to 'public pressures' 10 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

Australia's Ballarat diocese accused of breaking Church sex abuse guidelines by challenging compensation claim 10 August 2017 by Mark Brolly

Same-sex marriage bill fails to protect religious freedom, warns Australian archbishop 07 August 2017 by Mark Brolly

Somaliland's only Catholic church closed days after re-opening due to 'public pressures' 10 August 2017 by Rose Gamble

Australia's Ballarat diocese accused of breaking Church sex abuse guidelines by challenging compensation claim 10 August 2017 by Mark Brolly

Theologian on the ropes: The integrity of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger comes under scrutinyPremium10 August 2017 by Brendan Walsh, Jacques Dupuis

Irish teenagers just don't 'do religion': Will Pope's Dublin visit bring renewal of faith to young catholicsPremium10 August 2017 by Sarah Mac Donald

Now is not the time to throw out devotion to Mary, but to reclaim a relationship with herPremium10 August 2017 by Richard Leonard

Theologian on the ropes: The integrity of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger comes under scrutinyPremium10 August 2017 by Brendan Walsh, Jacques Dupuis

Irish teenagers just don't 'do religion': Will Pope's Dublin visit bring renewal of faith to young catholicsPremium10 August 2017 by Sarah Mac Donald

Now is not the time to throw out devotion to Mary, but to reclaim a relationship with herPremium10 August 2017 by Richard Leonard

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top