|Shrove Tuesday, 2014|
This is a shameless promotion for our annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper scheduled this week for, as you might expect, Shrove Tuesday --- from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Andrew's Church. All proceeds (every cent) go to the Ministry Center food bank --- last year about $900.
We'll serve, in cooperation with the Girl Scouts (who have custody of the Parish Hall on Tuesdays anyway) pancakes, ham and juice in return for a free-will donation. The Scouts will be selling Girl Scout cookies --- a bonus. Y'all come!
Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, traditionally was the day rich foods were cleared from the cupboards of households where the Ash Wednesday fast, then the austerity of Lent, would be observed.
For some reason, Shrove Tuesday seems extraordinarily early this year --- but it really isn't. Part of the reason may be that Ash Wednesday --- one of the moveable feasts (or in this case a fast) of the liturgical church --- fell on March 4 last year.
Moveable feasts (and fasts) of the church do their moving each year in relation to the date of Easter, which roams around according to a formula I'm not even going to try to explain (or understand). Ash Wednesday falls 46 days before Easter and, of course, Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday.
Easter this year for the western church falls on Sunday, April 5 (if you're Orthodox, everything works a little differently and Pascha will be observed a week later, April 12).
In the years since 1753, by which time most of the West had bought into the Gregorian calendar (setting the Julian calendar aside), March 22 has been the earliest Easter date --- in 1761 and 1818. During 2008, Easter fell on March 23 --- almost close enough to take home a prize, but not quite.