We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Shrove Tuesday - celebrating in the home and links!

So, what's up with Shrove Tuesday / Mardi Gras / Carnival? Why is this celebration such an important part of Lent in the liturgical traditions (especially Anglican and Roman Catholic)? Seems a bit odd to usher in a season of penitance and spiritual asceticism with a day of frivolity, excess, and indulgence, doesn't it?

Gertrud Mueller Nelson, in her book To Dance With God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration, compares "Fat Tuesday" to cleaning out a drawer. In order to do a thorough job, one must dump out all the contents of the drawer in order to set it back in order. Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras) is the dumping out and the rest of Lent is the setting back in order. This is exactly how I clean, so it makes a great deal of sense to me! This day of wildness and excess helps us get ready to enter into the seriousness of Lent.

(The picture is from the Pancake Day Race at Olney in Buckinghamshire which has been held for more than 550 years.)

So, how does your friendly, bloggyneighbor and Anglican celebrate on Shrove Tuesday? Read on!

In the past, we've been blessed with a parish that put on a great Shrove Tuesday celebration with lots of pancakes and some Cajun cooking, too. However, this year, since we are borrowing space from another church, we are unable to have a parish celebration. Instead, we'll have to be a bit creative and find ways to celebrate this day in our home.

It is traditional to eat something sweet and fried, so the kids and I will go out for Krispy Kreme doughnuts (oh, to be near the home of the original Krispy Kreme!) either mid-morning or after lunch. But our real celebration will begin in the evening!

Shrove Tuesday celebrations can certainly be done with just your family, but how much fun and more festive to include extended family or friends! We are getting together with our neighbors for our celebration. Here's what we have planned:

  • Costumes: both families have extensive dress ups, so we will let the kids dress up in the wildest costumes they can!

  • Food: Anglicans love their pancake suppers on Shrove Tuesday, so we will have dueling griddles going with pancakes and sausage. Nothing fancy - just "Aunt Jemima"!

  • Alleluia banner: "Burying the Alleluia" is a new part of our Lent this year. We will do this by making a big "Alleluia" banner at our Shrove Tuesday celebration. (Dear Neighbor and I will have plain banners with "Alleluia" written on them for the kids to decorate - one for each family.) At the end of the evening, these will be rolled up and put away until Easter.

  • Close in silence: At the end of the evening, the costumes will come off, we'll light some candles, and gather for a short prayer. Then we'll go home quietly, ready to enter into a faithful Lent.

Some more fun links:

Do you have any plans for Shrove Tuesday? I'd love to hear about your favorite traditions - or a memorable Fat Tuesday! Leave a comment (and link if you have one)!

Jeanne from At A Hen's Pace has an excellent guest post full of ideas and recipes for Shrove Tuesday - so go by and visit!


Jean in Wisconsin said...

I linked to your blog today for those interested in your lenten celebration. Hope that's O.K.--


Kerry - A Ten O'Clock Scholar said...

Of course, Jean!! Thanks for the link!

steitzfitness said...

Hi Kerry, I am so enjoying your blog! the Alleluia Banner is such a great idea and great visual for the kiddos, heck for the adults;) We are pretty new to Anglicanism (only about 8 years or so, but a move to MI put us on liturgical hiatus~thus the name of my blog;)~but we are in a church plant now and VERY content and happy. All that to say, I need the ideas and history and appreciate your blogging time! Have a great week celebrating!

Kerry - A Ten O'Clock Scholar said...

Renee -
I'm so glad you are enjoying the blog! You know how comments like that warm our bloggy hearts. :)


Laura said...

Enjoy the celebration! I'm thankful in more ways than one for the instruction... perhaps we'll have to visit the new Dunkin' Donuts downtown after all! :)
I'll be linking and referring to your site from mine. My mom - a former nun - will especially love our new-found traditions...

suzgray said...

I know what we are going to be doing tonight. What a great idea. And yum - my kids will love the pancakes too! Thanks Kerry!

Jill said...

I did pancakes tonight. I think it's a great introduction to the season and a way to talk about it together as a family at dinner. It was fun! And delicious. My recipe is at http://praiseworthythings.blogspot.com/2006/01/praiseworthy-pancakes.html