Posted on February 13th, 2018

So, It's Shrove Tuesday?

It's a day with a confusing public image. Does it mean anything to us today?

The day goes by a variety of names: among them Fat Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Mardi Gras. It is a day that we often associate with excess, even debauchery.

At root, the day is a religious observance. It is the last day before the beginning of the season of Lent – Ash Wednesday. Lent is a season of discipline and self-denial that precedes Easter. So, Fat Tuesday was a day when the rich things in the cupboard (fat, sugar, eggs) were consumed so they wouldn’t be thrown out or wouldn’t be a temptation during Lent.

“Shrove” comes from the word “to shrive.” That means “to receive forgiveness through absolution and penitence.” This was in preparation for the introspection and self-restraint of Lent.

Shrove Tuesday is a time of getting ready – physically and spiritually – for the season that is about to begin. A day of confession, repentance, resolve and submission is a response to the reminder of Romans 5, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

So, contemporary relevance? Are there any among us who don’t recognize our shortcomings, and the impact those shortcomings have on our relationship with God?

Are there any who do not need to be shriven?

The peace of the Lord be with you.

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