Written by Mara DiGiovanni
It may be hard to believe it, but Lent is almost here again! The old liturgical season will start this week with Ash Wednesday, albeit in a new and more virtual way this year. Before we get to the familiar rites of Wednesday, we celebrate Shrove Tuesday, where, traditionally, we burn the palms of the previous year’s Holy Week, and also eat a LOT of pancakes. But why do we do these things, and how can that knowledge help us celebrate together during a time when we cannot gather as one body?
Let’s start by looking at the name itself; “shrove” is a form of the English word “shrive”, which means absolution of sin. The purpose of the Ash Wednesday service is to absolve the penitent of their sins, to wash them clean for the spiritual desert journey that is Lent. Likewise, the purpose of Shrove Tuesday is to prepare one’s pantry for the Lenten season. Traditionally, when Lent was celebrated, there were certain things that EVERYONE was expected to give up, EVERY YEAR. These things were generally rich foods, like sugar, milk and cream, and eggs, ingredients that pancakes use up a lot of, making them an efficient choice for one last pre-Lenten party!
One way we would like to encourage a little long-distance fellowship is by inviting you to share your favorite pancake recipes with each other. You can share your recipes on the St. Matthew’s Snellville Facebook page, try out someone else’s, maybe even post some photos a your syrupy stack, but most importantly, have a great Lent!