Monday, February 16, 2015

For Shrove Tuesday ( 17 February 2015 )

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ, 

Traditionally viewed as a day of repentance, Shrove Tuesday has become the last day for celebration and feasting before the period of fasting required during the Lenten season. The name "Shrove Tuesday" is derived from the word "shrive", which means to confess and receive absolution. The name denotes a period of cleansing, wherein a person brings their lusts and appetites under subjection through abstention and self-sacrifice. 

 The concept behind this practice is found in 1 Corinthians 9:27, where the Apostle Paul states: "I buffet my body and make it my slave..." Ironically, Shrove Tuesday has evolved into a day of frivolity and indulgence, during which people participate in as much pleasure and self-gratification as they can before Lent begins. 

 Looking back at a lifetime of being an Anglican Christian , I can recall a few Pancake evenings at Church, but eating and feasting was kept under moderation, so personally I dont have too much trouble with this ancient tradition. The fellowship with fellow Anglican Christians on this evenings was always important to me and my wife. Carnaval held in the country of my birth Holland and especially in the South of the country where one was predominatly Roman Catholic always got grossly out of hand. I dont think that our Lenten pilgrimage is really meant to start like this. Sadly it must also be noted that many Carnaval revellers in the province of Limburg never went much to Mass anyway. 

 What is the answer then ? Celebrate the shrove Tuesday tradition in moderation and then settle down to a serious observance of Lent with fasting, meditation and almsgiving. 

 Father Ed Bakker,
 Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province 
 Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne 
 Bendigo Australia