Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) and Pancake Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Traditionally, in addition to abstaining from meat, the faithful were required to abstain from fats, eggs, and butter as well for the duration of Lent. Even though today’s Lenten fast does not require total abstinence from all animal products, recalling the tradition of serving pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, along with bacon, ham, or sausage, serves to unite ourselves with the heritage of our past while enjoying a feast before the upcoming days of fast and abstinence.
I've already made this year's Mardi Gras Beignets… I just need to finish frying the bacon and pancakes and dinner will be ready!
Mardi Gras Prayer
from Creighton University's Praying Lent
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for it is from your goodness that we have this day to celebrate on the threshold of the Season of Lent. Tomorrow we will fast and abstain from meat. Today we feast.
We thank you for the abundance of gifts you shower upon us. We thank you especially for one another. As we give you thanks, we are mindful of those who have so much less than we do. As we share these wonderful gifts together, we commit ourselves to greater generosity toward those who need our support.
Prepare us for tomorrow. Tasting the fullness of what we have today, let us experience some hunger tomorrow. May our fasting make us more alert and may it heighten our consciousness so that we might be ready to hear your Word and respond to your call.
As our feasting fills us with gratitude so may our fasting and abstinence hollow out in us a place for deeper desires and an attentiveness to hear the cry of the poor. May our self-denial turn our hearts to you and give us a new freedom for generous service to others.
We ask you these graces with our hearts full of delight and stirring with readiness for the journey ahead. We ask them with confidence in the name of Jesus the Lord.