Shrove Tuesday officially ends the season of Epiphany, and marks the beginning of the penitential season of Lent. The name Shrove Tuesday is derived from the verb “to shrive” which means to confess and receive absolution. During the Middle Ages, “shriveners” (priests) heard people’s confessions in preparation for Lent. As certain foods were restricted during Lent, people would prepare feasts to consume those foods that would become spoiled during the next 40 days. The English tradition of eating pancakes came about as a way to use as much milk, fats and eggs as possible before Ash Wednesday.
Shrove Tuesday is the time to make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs you need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth you especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with. Fr. Bill is available for consultation or private confession upon request.