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Shrove Tuesday & start of Lent

“Shrove” is the past tense of the verb “shrive” – “to obtain absolution for oneself by confessing and doing penance”:

God of infinite mercy,
grant that we who know your compassion
may rejoice in your forgiveness
and gladly forgive others
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Saviour
who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.

In French this is Mardi Gras – “fat Tuesday” – the feasting before Lenten fasting. A time of “carnival” [The derivation of the word “carnival” is uncertain. Possibly it originates in the Latin carne vale, meaning “to farewell meat” or even “to say goodbye to the flesh”. Others posit that its origin lies in the Italian carne levare, meaning “to remove meat”. The Oxford English Dictionary has that “Carnival” is derived from Latin carnem levare (removal of the meat) or carnem laxare (leaving the meat).]

In Northern Springtime, I presume that, in order to have chicks etc. one must leave the eggs with the hen to hatch. One stops eating the eggs during this time – Lent. And can start eating them at Easter time – the origin of Easter eggs. In the quaint manner of liturgical developments, not eating eggs during Lent means one gets rid of all the eggs before Lent! Hence, the development of Pancake Tuesday – of using up all our eggs by eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

This is the last day of the “Alleluias” until Easter. This day may even involve the burying of the Alleluia.

A Shrove Tuesday Hymn.

You can put a badge for Lent on your blog or website – the HTML is provided here.

Ash Wednesday – A Service for the Beginning of Lent
A few simple suggestion during Lent
What is Lent – especially translating it to the Southern Hemisphere
First Sunday in Lent February 21 reflection from the collect/opening prayer

For communities that follow a catechumenal process in which Lent is central:
Lenten preparation (catechumenate) receiving the Lord’s Prayer (catechumenate) receiving the creed (catechumenate) enrolment for baptism (catechumenate)

You can also join the facebook Easter event for which, in Lent, we are preparing. As the first comment there says so well: “The Great Feast after the Great Fast. What a difference an e makes!”

Please add any suggestions for Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, or the start of Lent in the comments.

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7 thoughts on “Shrove Tuesday & start of Lent”

  1. I’ll be going vegetarian (except where it causes problems for other people – e.g. I’ll be staying with my grandmother in a couple of months’ time, and would rather not ask her to go to the extra trouble); I’ll also try to cut down on my internetting, as that somehow seems to swallow hours at a time.

  2. I’ll be doing daily office and posting twitters. I’ll be standing on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood, praying for the people inside. I’ve never done this before but feel called. We (husband and I) will do our best to Fast on Holy Days and pray especially for those in vocations.

  3. Dear bosco

    it has been wonderful reading your site
    I very much appreciate your hard work in providing invaluable rescources for Chrstians new to Liturgical church, particularly as we move to explore lent

    Many thanks Richard
    (age 14)

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