During Lent, students at Jesuit Academy have been given opportunities to practice the three pillars of Lent—fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. As part of a Lenten presentation during the 40 days in preparation of Easter Sunday, fourth and fifth grade students were asked by Jesuit Academy teacher Mr. Dan Kennedy, nSJ, “What do pretzels have to do with prayer?”
Not knowing how to respond, Mr. Kennedy shared with Jesuit Academy students that pretzels were a reward to students for good behavior in Catholic monastic schools in Europe during the Middle Ages, bringing with them a subtle message to students on the proper stance in prayer. A pretzel upside down mirrors the outline of two arms with their hands pressed together over one’s heart, like how someone would look when praying.
To engage with the pillar of prayer, fourth and fifth graders at Jesuit Academy made savory pretzels for themselves and family. While the physical stance is not as important, students learned about prayer as they kneaded their dough and twisted their pretzels. At the end of the exercise, students were able to enjoy their tasty treats!
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