Posted by Br Adrian Watson
on 5 March 2019
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday.and it is traditionally a day of preparation for Lent.
The name 'shrove' is derived from the word "shrive", meaning to hear someone's acknowledgement of their sins, to assure him or her of God's forgiveness,and to give appropriate spiritual advice. The term survives today in ordinary usage in the expression "short shrift". To give someone short shrift is to pay very little attention to his excuses or problems.
Shrove Tuesday has a religious focus, but in contemporary society the day is more commonly known as Pancake Day, Carnival (meaning without meat) or Mardi Gras (a French term meaning Fat Tuesday from Mardi (Tuesday) and gras (fat). On the day before Ash Wednesday, a thrifty householder uses up the fats that have been kept around for cooking, but will not be using during Lent. Pancakes are a standard way of using up fat.
In Christian communities the world over, the penitential period of Lent is known as a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. In the Catholic tradition during Lent, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence, while on the other days of Lent, there is an expectation that a person will engage in prayer, self-denial and works of charity in a more intense manner.
Prayer for Shrove Tuesday
God of feasting,
we give you thanks
for the richness of life.
As Jesus turned water
into wine at Cana,
we think of your desire for
all your people to celebrate life.
Bless us as we celebrate the joy
of being your people.
Send your Spirit to dance
and sing with us.
As we enter the Season of Lent,
may it, too, be a celebration of life:
of an inward journey of contemplation and wondering,
of learning and exploring.
And in all of this,
may we grow closer to Jesus,
to one another, and to you.
This we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.