A congregant, about a year ago, expressed a desire to understand different elements of Christianity better. Therefore, throughout Lent, we will be taking a closer look at explaining why many Christians do what they do.
Today we will be talking about a very popular day on the Christian calendar. For some, they call it "Shrove Tuesday." For many, they call it "Mardi Gras." I call it, today!
No matter what name you know it by, it concludes Epiphany with a bang! (More on that season later.) Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins. Since Lent is often known as a season of fasting and preparation, Shrove Tuesday is the preparation for that. One of the items one shouldn't use during Lent is yeast. Yeast has a shelf life, therefore, you will see Churches announce Pancake dinners this time of year. True, many my age or younger wouldn't know what to do with a yeast packet (and most of us use premixed pancakes.). It is still symbolic of using up that yeast before Lent.
In other traditions some want to use up more than their yeast. They also want to use up their access energies. Thus we have things like Mardi Gras. To put it bluntly, Mardi Gras has become a time to use up ones indiscretions before they become pious for Lent. No, this isn't true for everyone. In fact, in some ways Mardi Gras has become a family event.
Basically, Shrove Tuesday can be summed up in this way:
As Lent prepares us for Easter, Shrove Tuesday prepares us for Lent.
Come back tomorrow as we discuss Ash Wednesday.