Preparing to Celebrate Lent on Shrove Tuesday

The day before Ash Wednesday is known by many names: Mardi Gras, Carnival, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, and even Pancake Tuesday. 

If you are looking to learn more about what Ash Wednesday means it is covered in THIS POST.

I also have plenty of ideas for celebrating the Easter Triduum HERE.

Last day before Lent

cross made in ashes with stack of pancakes representing shrove tuesday

Shrove Tuesday, in its simplest form, prepares Christians for celebrating Lent.

Lent is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholic Churches. According to some sources,  there also may be Anabaptist and evangelical churches that also observe the Lenten season. As an overview, Lent is the time before Easter.

You may commonly hear that Lent is 40 days, and that is TRUE, however, Lent does not include Sundays – the actual number of calendar days for Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday is 46 days.

Purpose of Shrove Tuesday

The day before Lent begins was historically used as a day to use up all the food stores, as Lent is a time of fasting. 

In the Catholic church, Shrove Tuesday is observed. The name SHROVE comes from the old middle English word “shriven”. That word means to go to confession. (To apologize for the wrongs/sins you have committed, and enter Lent with a pure heart). 

Because Lent always starts on a Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) the parishioners went to confession on Tuesday. That day became known as “Shriven Tuesday” or Confession Tuesday. It is now called Shrove Tuesday, a day for apologizing for sins and entering into Lent with a pure heart through the Sacrament of Confession.

It’s Also Pancake Tuesday!

The other *lesser-known* name for this day is Pancake Day. This comes from the custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before Lent began. Historically, that meant eggs and milk. When you add eggs, milk, and flour – you get pancakes! 

Traditions to help us prepare for Lent

As with many holidays, we celebrate them to help keep traditions associated with them alive. Traditions within our own families are important as well. Perhaps you have traditions surrounding the Season of Lent. 

Shrove Tuesday encourages us to enter into Lent clean, and sin-free. If your faith offers Confession, that may be part of your traditions. 

Shrove Tuesday is also a good day to do a bit of “spring cleaning”. Encourage your children to get their room and toys in order, looking for items they no longer use. They can share these items with children in foster care, or donate them to other organizations. 

Cleaning up your school area and curriculum is a good idea during this time as well. What is working? Not working? How can you make changes over the next 46 days to improve your relationship with the learners in your care? (Yes, lent is 46 days total. To learn more see THIS POST)

Lent is a great time for any faith to work on prayer. You can say the same prayer for 40 days, or a different prayer for 40 days.

Decide on your Lenten activities. Will you be “giving up” or performing acts of kindness?

Resources for Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday and Lent

Shrove Tuesday Activity Pack Cover Image

Learn more about Shrove Tuesday in our Activity Pack. There is a video Lesson all about Shrove/Pancake Tuesday as well as activities for multiple ages to enjoy. Download the 40 days of Lent free-BEE so your kids have a place to record their sacrifices or acts of kindness. The printable includes ideas for acts of kindness to get started.

Thanks for stopping by Happy Hive Homeschooling to learn about Shrove Tuesday

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