Shrove Tuesday is February 13th
What is Shrove Tuesday and why do we feast on pancakes?
Anglo-Saxon Christians traditionally went to confession the day before Ash Wednesday in order to be absolved from their sins before they began the cleansing practice of Lent. The forgiving of their sins was known as “shriving” which is where “Shrove” Tuesday derived. But why pancakes? Because Lent is a season of abstinence, many Christians would fast from meat, eggs, fats, and milk/dairy. Because these foods would not keep for the 40 days of Lent, and food was not to be wasted, families would have a feast to consume these foods before Lent. Pancakes were the dish that would use up all of these foods with only the addition of flour, so they became the traditional food of Shrove Tuesday.
We’ll celebrate Shrove Tuesday on February 13th at 5:30pm followed by a brief Ash Wednesday service in the sanctuary to mark the beginning of the season of Lent. The Lenten journey from the ashes of death to resurrected life begins on the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, which signifies a time to turn around, to change directions, to repent. Ashes on the forehead is a sign of our humanity and a reminder of our mortality. Lent is not a matter of being good, and wearing ashes is not to show off one’s faith, but a desire and intention to live more faithfully as Christ’s disciples.