Most people may see pancakes as a delicious flat cake that we devour with some syrup, but did you know that it has some religious significance to it? Shrove Tuesday, or known as Pancake Day, uses pancakes to celebrate the last day of Carnival, Mardi Gras and preceding Lent. Pancakes are usually associated with Shrove Tuesday because it was a way for people to give up certain foods like eggs, milk, flour and sugar for Lent.
Shrove Tuesday is renowned as a day of festivity and feasting before the phase of fasting which is essential during Lent. Shrove derives from the word “shrive” which means to confess or to free from guilt. The day is widely observed by different forms of Christianity including Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Methodism and Catholicism.
At Covington First United Methodist Church, they observe the tradition of Shrove Tuesday the day after which is Ash Wednesday. Typically, they will have their pancake suppers that night because of a Wednesday night fellowship meal that takes place.
“Shrove Tuesday is typically a persevered day of preparation for entry into self-denial or self-discipline,” said Covington First United Methodist Church Pastor Douglas Gilreath.
The most important part of Shrove Tuesday is not the massive consumption of pancakes, but the celebration before the period of cleansing, in which one enters a stage of abstinence and self-sacrifice.