On the menu: Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes (plain and blueberry), Sausage, Homemade Applesauce, Juice, Coffee and Tea. Cost: $5 per person, $15 per family. Proceeds benefit Trinity missions. Sign up in the Fellowship Lobby to help with this event. Contact Molly Sprouse, 703-356-4896, email@example.com. Everyone is welcome!
Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday, is the Tuesday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The word shrove is the past tense of the word shrive, which means to confess and receive absolution. We eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday as a way to use up all the fat (butter, eggs, sugar) before Lent. Many observe Lent as a season of fasting, or restricting foods so they don’t overindulge while focusing on the sacrifice Christ made for us. If you would like to learn more about the history of this day, beginning in the Middle Ages, a simple Google search of “Shrove Tuesday” will get you many results from Wikipedia and from various church-related organizations.
12 p.m. & 7 p.m.
These worship services will include the imposition of ashes.
Ash Wednesday & Lent
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent. Lent is the 40 days (not counting Sundays) that lead up to Easter. In worship on Ash Wednesday, worshippers receive ashes on their forehead with the words, “you are dust and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
An article on the What We Believe page of the United Methodist Church website offers an explanation of Ash Wednesday:
Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.
Ash Wednesday emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality. The service focuses on both themes, helping us to realize that both have been triumphed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During some Ash Wednesday services, the minister will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers. The use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship. Historically, ashes signified purification and sorrow for sins.1
Another article on the page gives reasons for the use of ashes in Methodist worship:
While many think of actions such as the imposition of ashes, signing with the cross, footwashing, and the use of incense as something that only Roman Catholics or high church Episcopalians do, there has been a move among Protestant churches, including United Methodists to recover these more multisensory ways of worship. This is in keeping with a growing recognition that people have multiple ways of learning and praying.
Worship that is oriented to the intellect or to the emotions, both interior, leaves out those who engage in prayer through vision, smell, touch, movement, and so forth. We are increasingly aware that people are formed in faith when practices become embedded in memory, nerves, muscles and bone through sensory engagement.2
Dates to Remember
February 17: Shrove Tuesday
February 18: Ash Wednesday
March 29: Palm Sunday
April 2: Maundy Thursday
April 3: Good Friday
April 5: Easter Sunday