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Pancake supper set for Shrove Tuesday

Christ Episcopal Church will host its annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper for members and the community at large from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the church parish hall on Fifth and Park streets. Tickets are not needed, but a donation will be accepted.

Shrove Tuesday is a term used in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia for the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Christian season of fasting and prayer called Lent.

The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of confession doing penance. Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the shriving that English Christians were expected to do prior to receiving absolution immediately before Lent begins.

The term Shrove Tuesday is no longer widely known in the United States outside of people who observe liturgical traditions such as those of the Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic churches. Because of the increase in many immigrant populations and traditions since the 19th century, and the rise of highly publicized festivals, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, the term has become more familiar as the designation for that day.

“Traditionally, people were asked to give up fats and sweets during the 40-day period associated with Jesus’ fast in the desert,” the Rev. Sallie Schisler, priest-in-charge at Christ Church, said. “It was a way to deny oneself and imitate the self-denial of our Lord. Today, while people do continue the practice of self-denial, the more modern approach of Lenten practice is to add a spiritual discipline to your daily routine. Some people read or study a book or certain chapter from the Bible. Others make a retreat, or engage in daily meditation, while some make an annual confession to their clergy person, or a trusted friend. The tradition of eating pancakes on the day before Lent begins is more about fellowship and community as much as cleaning out the larder today.”

Christ Church will begin Lent with a service of the Imposition of Ashes at noon and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, which is Ash Wednesday. The services are open to the community at noon and 6 p.m. in the church.