Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Shrove Tuesday

Well, today is Super Tuesday so go out there and vote!  Religious organizations are not allowed to tell you how to vote, but this blog is private -- so I'm still not going to tell you how to vote.

Nothing I say would change what party you're going to vote for, and here in New York, I think a lot of people will decide when they walk in the booth.  In our household, we've been torn between Hillary and Barack Obama, but we feel good about either.  Others who are Republicans seem to be mulling over their preference for Mitt Romney or John McCain (Huckabee appears to have faded into the woodwork in these parts)

The important thing is to go out there and vote!


Today is ALSO Shrove Tuesday:  A big day in the church because it is the day before Ash Wedneday, the start of Lent.

You might know Shrove Tuesday by another more popular name:  Mardi Gras.  It's also called Fat Tuesday or Pancake Day.  If you live in Germany, it's called Fastnacht.  In Estonia it's Vastlapäev, in Sweden fettisdagen, in Hawaii it's called Malasada Day -- and so on.

The general idea of all these days is that you use up the extra sugar and sweet things before the fasting season of Lent.  A fasting season is one where we forego the little extras in life -- even meals at certain times -- in order to focus on our mortality and our weakness (moral, spiritual, and physical) while at the same time focusing on God's great love for us.

We Episcopalians celebrate Shrove Tuesday -- Shrove comes from the Eglish verb "to shrive" which means to confess your sins and obtain absolution.  Anglican Christians were and are expected to do so immediately before Lent.  

Our biggest tradition on Shrove Tuesday is the Pancake Supper -- come tonight if you want.  We decorate pancakes and eat pancakes.  We thought about the old English tradition of pancake races (the women of a village race to a goal flipping pancakes in a pan a certain number of times).  But we decided that might be too dangerous for us.

Still, it's a great tradition and less work than Mardi Gras. 

So go out and Vote -- Then come in for pancakes.