This morning we celebrated Shrove Tuesday by having pancakes after morning prayer. I also wanted to incorporate the ‘why’ of Shrove Tuesday into the service.
At the beginning of Morning Prayer we remember a Saint, Hero or Holy Day and at the end we have a prayer about their life or a prayer they wrote. I find it helpful to have these two ‘moveable parts’ of morning prayer that allow room for some creativity. Normally I use the online version of Exciting Holiness, Australian Anglicans Remember, Celtic Daily Prayer or Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals. They each have their pros and cons (blog post on this is imminent!) but together they give a balanced diet of history.
However, Shrove Tuesday wasn’t in any of these resources! This resulted in researching the trusty internet at 6:30am for an introduction & prayer for Shrove Tuesday. Here’s what I found:
Introduction (Saints, Heroes & Holy Days)
Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving, when the faithful confessed their sins to the local priest and received forgiveness before the Lenten season began. As far back as 1000 AD, “to shrive” meant to hear confessions. Historically, Shrove Tuesday also marked the beginning of the 40-day Lenten fasting period when the faithful were forbidden to consume meat, butter, eggs or milk. However, if a family had a store of these foods, they all would go bad by the time the fast ended on Easter Sunday. What to do? Solution: use up the milk, butter and eggs no later than Shrove Tuesday. (Resource)
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. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Resource)
Celebrating Shrove Tuesday this way (not just with pancakes, but with prayer) was helpful in preparing myself for the beginning of Lent tomorrow. After the breakfast feast this morning, I am thinking about what to give up for 40 days.