Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is observed mainly in English speaking countries, especially Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand but is also observed in Philippines and Germany. Shrove Tuesday is linked to Easter, so its date changes on an annual basis. In most traditions the day is known for the eating of pancakes before the start of Lent. Carnival is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party. People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations, which mark an overturning of daily life. Carnival is a festival traditionally held in Catholic and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox societies. In the United States, Carnival is usually connected to Mardi Gras.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Shrove Tuesday is commonly known as Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday. Catholic and Protestant countries traditionally call the day before Ash Wednesday Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. The name predated the Reformation and referred to the common Christian tradition of eating special rich foods before the fasting season of Lent. Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: In many cultures, this means no meat, dairy, or eggs. (article from Wikipedia)
Shrove Tuesday will occur on the following dates:

2012 — 21 February
2013 — 12 February
2014 — 4 March
2015 — 17 February
2016 — 9 February

A Prayer for Shrove Tuesday (Palm Burning):
Often the palms from the previous Palm Sunday are burned on this day to be used at the Ash Wednesday services.

Holy God, your Son Jesus rode with pilgrims into Jerusalem, and excited crowds threw branches in his path. These palms have been to us a reminder of his reign all year. Now as we prepare for Lent, and recall, through the work of your Holy Spirit within us, that we have fallen short of your will for us, we burn these palms to make ashes that will mark us with the sign of mortality and repentance; and we remember that though “sorrow may spend the night, Joy comes in the morning”, and out of death comes resurrection, through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.  (prayer by the Rev. Jennifer Phillips)

Ash Wednesday Services at St. Peter's Church
Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes
12 Noon & 7:30 PM

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