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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

27 February 2019: Christine Traynier, Parishioner St Laurence Catholic Church

Pancake Day

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday falls on March 5th this year. It is celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent, lasting for 40 days up until Easter. The date of Easter is celebrated on a Sunday between the 25th March and the 21st of April nearest to the full moon. This year it is as late as possible.

In my previous Parish in Essex volunteers would hold lunches during Lent to raise money for CAFOD. One year I suggested we could do a pancake lunch on Shrove Tuesday. Everyone thought this was a brilliant idea and I got the job of hosting it for 5 years!

The origin of Shrove Tuesday dates back to Anglo-Saxon times. It was traditional for Christians to go to confession on this day to be absolved from their sins or shriven. Pancakes were then traditionally eaten on this day to use up eggs and fat before embarking on the Lenten fast

The most famous pancake race is held in Olney in Buckinghamshire. Legend has it this dates back to 1445 when a woman in Olney heard the confession or pancake bell as it was known. She was busy making pancakes and ran to the church in her apron still clutching her frying pan.

Mardi Gras is the French for Shrove Tuesday and this term is used for the many carnivals that are staged on that day all over the world. Brazil attracts 70% of its tourists at this time who come to join in the carnival in Rio.
I am now involved with a children’s group that meet on Tuesdays at St Laurence’s Church and they traditionally have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Guess who’s now got the job of cooking them?

World Day of Prayer takes place in the Methodist Church on Friday 1 March at 11:30 am

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