That’s right–it’s that time of the year. All are welcome at our Shrove Tuesday extravaganza. The Vestry (our elected Lay Leaders) will cook up and serve the traditional pancake supper (complete with egg-bake and sausage) on Fat Tuesday, February 16 from 6 to 7 p.m. It’s a deal at $4 for adults and $1 for those 10 and under. (But come even if you can’t pay–no one will be turned away.) Come to the Parish Hall door, off the alley between First and Washington.
And what makes this an extra-special evening is that in preparation for our Lenten disciplines, we bury–literally–the “Alleluia.” The kids (and some of us…um…older kids) have made “Alleluia” banners. At the dinner we’ll roll them up and put them in a ”coffin.” Then singing as many Allelulias as we can squeeze into 5 minutes or so, we process (I use that term loosely!) into the churchyard where we’ll bury them–not to be resurrected until our “sunrise” Easter service, the Great Vigil at o’dark-thirty on the Morn of Easter Day. Until then, nary an “Alleluia” will pass our lips. This act is a physical reminder–an “outward and visible sign of an inward an spiritual grace”–the grace that is Lent.
Once the alleluias are underground, we turn to the fire pit, where–youngest to oldest–we use a candle to torch the fronds from last year’s Palm Sunday to make the ash that we’ll use to smudge foreheads the next day–Ash Wednesday. This we do in remembrance that we are made of dust and shall return to dust.
Thus, with new traditions and old, we approach the season of Lent–40 days of introspection (on the one hand) and outreach (on the other); two of the marks of Christian living. As we promise at our baptism, we continue the prayers taught by our forebears (which include those prayers that invite God into our nooks and crannies) and we strive for justice and peace right here and right now. What a good balance.