Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shrove Tuesday

Today is Shrove Tuesday (the day when Christians were traditionally 'shriven' of their sins by going to confession before Lent). In Ireland and Britain it is also known as Pancake Tuesday. Why? Well think of what goes into pancakes ... now think of all the things people used to have to take off the menu during Lent. Pancakes were a good way of using up some of these rich foods in advance rather than seeing them go to waste. Possibly it says a lot about the psyche of these islands that we came up with Pancake Tuesday, while the rest of Europe came up with the more colourful Carnival and Mardi Gras.

But thinking of the eggs that go into pancakes reminds me of the Easter eggs that are waiting at the end of Lent (and, of course, the custom of Easter eggs arose because people were just so happy to be able to crack a few eggs again after having been off them for six weeks!). Our 40 days of Lent are in a way the time between eggs ... the eggs in pancakes and the Easter eggs that are coming ... who would have thought that eggs could work as bookmarks!

Anyway, have a happy and joyful Lent. I know that it is almost upon us, but if you haven't thought of what you'll be doing (giving up, taking up, etc.) there is still time ... just keep in your mind that this is the time that we journey together with Christ to Jerusalem ... the Christ who suffered and died for us ...

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