The Cardinal Prefect (in pecctore) of the Secretly Clandestine Sacred Congregation of Indulgent Indulgences is always scouring texts ancient and modern, high and low, in order to delightfully discover eminently enjoyable epicurean excursions in this vale of tears for the Christian Faithful to exercise their belief in the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
St. Bartholomew is the patron saint of beekeepers and honey-makers, and for this reason it was traditional in England for the honey crop to be gathered on August 24. Since the main ingredient in mead—an ancient alcoholic drink that is still made in some parts of England today—is honey, the Blessing of the Mead is also observed on St. Bartholomew’s Day. In St. Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, a special ceremony is held by the Almoner of the Worshipful Company of Mead Makers (One thinks he may have just found a new side job). It begins with a church service, and then the participants move to the Mead Hall, where the Almoner, who is also the vicar of the parish, blesses the mead that has been fermenting for two years and pours it into a special cup. The mead can then be moved to a storage vat. In the past, mead was traditionally drunk from a bowl, known as a mazer, made from birds-eye maple with a silver rim.
And, of course, after impishly imbibing the lively libations invite some Huguenots over!
(Okay, I know it’s not a very ecumenical thing to say! Pooh!)