Altoids, as many people know, were first produced in England at the turn of the 19th century which was during the reign of King George the III. Smith & Company, a small London firm established in 1780, developed the original recipe. Smith & Co. promoted Altoids as a "stomach calamative" that would relieve intestinal discomfort. The firm was later bought by Callard & Bowser, an English confectioner established in 1837.
The first owners of Smith & Co. and Callard & Bowser were devout members of the Anglican Church. It is, therefore, not surprising that they developed a method of liturgical Altoid consumption. The owners, their employees and the consumers of their products were all known to have participated in this tradition.
The Wintergreen and Cinnamon varieties of Altoids were manufactured well into the first part of the 20th century. Due to financial concerns these Altoids were discontinued shortly before Altoids introduced in the United States in 1918. It is only recently that these varieties of mints have been "reissued," allowing the tradition of Liturgical Altoid Consumption to continue as it did in the time of King George III.
A calendar has been provided here with the hope that modern day Christians, congregations, and certain cults, especially those that enjoy liturgical coloration, may once again take up the tradition of Liturgical Altoid Consumption. The author hopes that the responsible Liturgical Altoid eater will read the entire guide before attempting this practice. Also, if congregations choose to serve Altoids during or after communion, it is reccomended that these guidelines be strictly followed.
CINNAMON - For Advent, the liturgical color is purple. Altoids previously did not come in purple, so the pinkish Cinnamon Altoid was close enough.
A more recent innovation is to switch to Raspberry for Gaudete Sunday. Some people frown on this. If you don't know what Gaudete Sunday is, you're better off just sticking with Cinnamon.
"Upon the observance of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ begining upon the Eve of Christmas and continuing through the Epiphany of our Lord, until the week of the Sunday of Baptism of our Saviour, which occurs upon the first Sunday after Epiphany, thou shalt eat the Peppermint Altoids, and only the Peppermint Altoids. No other altoids shalt thou eat."
The Book of Mints, Appendix C in the Nag Hamadi Library Revised
WINTERGREEN - For most of Epiphany, beginning on the Second Sunday after Epiphany, the correct Altoid is the Wintergreen. This is because the liturgical color is green. While Wintergreen Altoids are not green, the taste like they could be. Oh, yeah, and the tin has a green border on it. Wintergreen is also the correct Altoid for the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6.
(BONUS: Switch to Peppermint for Transfiguration Sunday.)
NONE? - Should you eat Altoids at all during Lent? As you will read, the answer is a clear, resounding maybe.
"For the season of Lent, thou shalt not eat a single Altoid. From the Wednesday of Ashes until the morning of Easter not one Altoid shall touch thy lips, nor thy tongue, nor thy epiglotis, nor thy neighbor's epiglotis, nor thy neighbor's ox, nor thy neighbor's ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's. Thou shalt not grind up altoids into a fine powder and drink it with water. Neither shall thee swallow the Altoids whole like pills, for even if thou couldst prevent the Altoid from making forbidden contact with the epiglotis, this would still be cheating. Neither shall one attempt to ingest Altoids by other means, neither through thine nose, neither through thine button in the belly, neither through hypodermic needle in the manner of a heroine addict. If someone forces an Altoid into your mouth while you are asleep, immediately spit it out. If you do not wake up after the Altoid has entered your mouth illegally, then do not suck, chew or swallow. If an Altoid has been forced into your mouth while you are asleep and you consume the Altoid while you are asleep, then it is okay."
The Lost Mint: Book of Mints II
This author of this work is probably a gnostic dubbed "Pablo the lame" who wrote several centuries after the original BOM author. Even if Pablo did know what he was talking about, who wants to go for all of lint without a ment? Exactly. Therefore, let us disregard this passage and consider the following Lenten logic, proposed by Pope John Paul II in his West Palm Beach address of 1969:
RASPBERRY - From the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday until Palm Sunday, Raspberry is the appropriate flavor. You'll notice they're purple. Why we don't use them in Advent, I don't know. (John Paul II didn't say this exactly. I'm paraphrasing.)
PEPPERMINT - Beginning on Palm Sunday, and for the beginning of Holy Week, Peppermint Altoids should be eaten, in keeping with the red liturgical color.
The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
1 Corinthians 11:23b-24
The Epistle reading for Maundy Thursday mentions bread. Gingerbread is a type of bread. Many Christians make gingerbread houses for Christmas. You might consider decorating your own gingerbread house with Altoids.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.
Spear, Spearmint. Enough said.
CITRUS - Nothing expresses the Joy of the ressurection quite like Citrus. Also, lemon is usually squeezed over fish and Jesus prepared fish for the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish
TANGERINE - On Ascension Thursday immediately switch to Tangerine Altoids. You do not need to finish the tin, but if you do, buy anyother one.
Tangerine is merely an intensification of the Citrus we have experienced through the resurrection.
APPLE - On the day of Pentecost, immediately switch to the appropriately red Apple Altoids. Eat these for one week. You do not need to finish the tin.
PEPPERMINT, CINNAMON & WINTERGREEN - On Trinity Sunday you may begin consuming the "Holy Trinity" of Altoids: Peppermint, Cinnamon and Wintergreen. Do this for one week. You do not need to finish the tins.
PEPPERMINT, CINNAMON, WINTERGREEN, SPEARMINT, GINGER, LIQUORICE, CITRUS, TANGERINE, APPLE & RASPBERRY - On the Second Sunday after Pentecost, begin eating all Altoids. You can buy the others if you've run out, but this is really a good time to work on finishing any open tins you have. Ideally you should end up with just Cinnamon (for Advent) and Peppermint (see below).
LIQUORICE - Hey, you didn't think Liquorice wouldn't get a day of its own, did you? It's the perfect Altoid for the big All Saints'/Souls'-fest.
On Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday in Pentecost and the last Sunday of the liturgical year, you should ideally switch back to Peppermint Altoids. Just like Wachet Auf is the "king of chorales," Peppermint is the "king of Altoids." If you have some leftovers you may eat these too, but really you should have finished them before this Sunday occurs. This way, you will be prepared to begin the cycle again with Cinnamon for Advent.
If one follows this Liturgical calendar exactly, one really likes Altoids.
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