February 12, 2018

Shrove Tuesday and Shrovetide

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday - February 13, 2018

Shrove Tuesday is the last day of what traditionally was called "Shrovetide," the week preceding the beginning of Lent. The word itself, Shrovetide, is the English equivalent for "Carnival," which is derived from the Latin words carnem levare, meaning "to take away the flesh." (Note that in Germany, this period is called "Fasching," and in parts of the United States, "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras".) While this was seen as the last chance for merriment, and in some places, has resulted in excessive pleasure, Shrovetide was the time to cast off things of the flesh and to prepare spiritually for Lent, [the Paschal Triduum and the solemnity of Easter. ( Fr. William Saunders, Arlington Catholic Herald, February 19, 2004.)

In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Canada, this day is "Pancake Day" or "Pancake Tuesday" due to the traditional consumption of pancakes.

Other Catholic and Protestant countries traditionally call the day before Ash Wednesday "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras". The name predated the Reformation and referred to the practice of eating special foods before the Lenten fast.

In Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian-speaking countries, it is known as Carnival.

Almighty ever-living Lord, grant us the grace to commence with holy fasting the defenses of Christian warfare, so that we who are to fight against every spiritual wickedness, sin and temptation, may be helped and strengthened by self-denial, prayer and atonement. We ask this through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who reigns together with the Father. Amen.

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