This year's pancake supper: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 // 5:30-7 p.m. // Bonfire at 6:15 p.m. in the courtyard
This supper will be donation-based this year. No reservations are needed.
Do you have a middle school student in your family? Students in grades 6-8 will be servers at this year's supper. Sign up to serve here.
What is Shrove Tuesday?
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the penitential season of Lent. In some parts of Europe and the Americas, Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Carnival. In historically Francophone cultures it is known as Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”), as any visitor to New Orleans will attest.
The name “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the verb “to shrive” which means to absolve people of their sins. During the Middle Ages, “shriveners” (priests) heard people’s confessions in preparation for Lent.
What does that have to do with pancakes?
Traditionally, many who fasted during Lent did not consume milk or eggs, so the practice was to use up those ingredients on Shrove Tuesday, before the fast began. Variations on the pancake tradition are observed in many countries, including Britain, Ireland, Australia and Canada. In Sweden, Iceland and some parts of the United States, Shrove Tuesday menus offer other time-honored fare, including salt ham, peas, pea soup and other foods. At St. Stephen’s, we stick with pancakes, accompanied by sausage and apples.
A St. Stephen's tradition is to have a bonfire in the courtyard during the supper, burn dried palm branches from the previous year's Palm Sunday, and use the ashes at Ash Wednesday services the next day. If you have palms left from last year, you may leave them in the basket at Information Central (the large display table near the church office).