SHROVE TUESDAY or more commonly known as Mardi Gras is preparation for the season of Lent. Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French and is the last feast before the season of self-denial and penitence.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Shrove is past tense of the word shrive and it means absolve. Absolution in a court of law is to be found not guilty. In Christianity absolution is the remission or forgiveness of sin, release from the consequence of sin, or freedom from guilt or blame.
1 John 1:8-10
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Shrove Tuesday this year was March 1, 2022 and the date will vary according to where Easter falls each year, but it is always the day before Ash Wednesday.
Before Lenten fasting begins on Ash Wednesday, it has become customary to have a feast to first rid the pantry of sugary food and meats that we will give up for the Lenten season. On Mardi Gras it is customary in some places to eat pancakes for breakfast which would be a way to use up oil and eggs before the season of fasting as well as polishing off any sweets removing the temptation during the time of fasting. Other traditions include saving the palms that were used during the previous year’s Palm Sunday and burning them on Shrove Tuesday to use the ashes on the following day, Ash Wednesday.
In Christianity the liturgical year is broken into 6 seasons. Liturgy is greek in origin and it means public work. Liturgy is a pattern used for worship by a Christian denomination or congregation on a regular basis.(Wikipedia) For example, a liturgy could be taking communion, water baptism, or celebrating a feast. Due to the fact that the liturgical year is broken into 6 seasons I wanted to explore them as they celebrate the life of Christ from His incarnation to His death and resurrection and the expectation that He is coming again. The seasons are Advent, Christmastide, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time.
It is for each one to choose how they would like to honor the Lord in their own lives and not to be bound under any sort of compulsion to observe or not to observe any day or season simply because it is prescribed by church tradition. In fact, Jesus warned that our traditions had made the word of God of no effect in Mark 7:13. The most important thing is our relationship with the Lord, learning to hear Him, following the leading of the Holy Spirit, and letting the peace of God be our compass. The intention behind each season is to reverance Christ Jesus who loved us and gave Himself for us.