Every year my family looks forward to “Pancake Day” also known as Shrove Tuesday! Shrove Tuesday is a huge dinner with our extended church family where we gather together and feast on pancakes, sausages, muffins, and fruit. It’s a fun event with lots of music, laughter and love – and all the pancakes you can eat, of course!
Have you ever wondered why Christians celebrate Shrove Tuesday? Shrove Tuesday is considered the beginning of Lent. The name comes from the word “shrive”, which means to confess and receive absolution. It is a period of cleansing, wherein a person brings their wants and appetites under subjection through abstention and self-sacrifice. Shrove Tuesday originated in the Middle Ages as a way to consume fatty foods – like cream, milk, eggs, meat and fish that were restricted during the Lenten period.
As a family, we believe that it is important to mark the beginning of Lent, which begins the Wednesday after Shrove Tuesday, commonly called Ash Wednesday. The Lenten period is the 40 days before Easter and during this time many Christians choose to give up a luxury as a way to show penance. Traditionally Christians also add a Lenten spiritual discipline, such as reading a daily devotional and attending special Lenten studies to draw themselves near to God.
So why do we celebrate Shrove Tuesday? If you ask my girls, they will tell you it’s all about the pancakes, and in a way, it is. We enjoy breaking bread together with our family and friends, just as Jesus broke bread with his family and friends. Not only are we gathering together to eat and drink and fellowship, but we are worshiping our Lord and looking forward to the 40 days when we choose to remember the hard sacrifices that Jesus made for us, so that we are able to have eternal life with Him.
I would encourage you, if you don’t celebrate Shrove Tuesday to find a local church that holds a pancake supper and attend it. If you usually go to a special dinner, sit with someone new. It’s not about the pancakes, or the sausages or the fruit. It’s not about over eating or eating to excess. Celebrating Shrove Tuesday is a tangible way to begin the Lenten season with food and fellowship!
Aurie Good is a pastor’s wife, a homeschool mom to their 2 beautiful miracle babies, and a foster momma to the precious children placed in their home. Currently they are loving on a 16 month old baby boy who they are hoping to adopt from the foster care system. She is an advocate for foster care and enjoys sharing the miraculous journey that led them to become foster parents. When she isn’t knee deep in laundry and diapers she enjoys crafting, knitting and making a huge mess with glitter. You can connect with her on twitter and follow along with their crazy adventures on Instagram. She blogs at Our Good Life about foster care, adoption, DIY crafts and enjoying the messy of motherhood.