Shrive Me Holy Man
The Hermit crossed his brow.
This line from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge comes from that old word for forgiveness, shrive. One sought to be shriven of sins. From that word comes this day of the church year, known as Shrove Tuesday. It is the day to seek forgiveness before the season of preparation for Easter, known as Lent, begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday.
Of course, there is another approach to this last day before Lent. Rather than seeking forgiveness, some seem to seek sin on Shrove Tuesday. After all, today is also known as "Mardi Gras" which means "Fat Tuesday." Mardi Gras leads to a great deal of excess in places like New Orleans and Rio. But traditionally, it was just the day for finishing off the stuff in the cupboard not eaten during Lent.
Tonight, we'll celebrate Mardi Gras without the wild reveling. Instead, we'll have a traditional pancake supper starting at 6 p.m. Then we'll play a rousing game of Bingo for prizes. Mardi Gras beads, masks and the like are encouraged, but not required.
To find out more about Lent, visit our page Keeping a Holy Lent.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor