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Pancake Day

Reflection for Shrove Tuesday 2021

“Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine; Love was born at Christmas, Star and angels gave the sign.”

A very familiar poem and hymn by the author Christina Rossetti.

Another familiar poem by her is this one,

Mix a pancake, Stir a pancake,

Pop it in the pan;

Fry the pancake, Toss the pancake,

Catch it if you can.”

It feels like only yesterday we were celebrating the season of Christmas and the birth of the Saviour,

Now, we stand on the brink of the next season, that of Lent, which will have us walking the long road, which will culminate in the events of Holy Week, when we will again reflect on the passion and death of Jesus, the fulfillment of that Love come down.

The Lenten journey begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. This is a time when we as Christians spend the period before Easter to discover ourselves in the eyes of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,

An opportunity to seek repent of wrong doing, to grow in the love of Christ and to ask God's help in the process. A time of fasting, for reflection, a time to lay down that which is too cumbersome to keep carrying, and a time to pick up the life giving mercy and renewal of Jesus.

Before that begins we have this day, Shrove Tuesday.

The expression ‘Shrove Tuesday’ is derived from the old middle English word ‘shriven’, which referred to going to confession to repent for the things you have done wrong. This became known as Shriven Tuesday, which then evolved into Shrove Tuesday.

Why do we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday comes from the old English custom of using up all the leftover fattening ingredients in the house before Lent, so that people were ready to fast. The ingredients that people tended to have in their houses were eggs and milk.

To ensure that these ingredients didn’t go to waste, pancakes became the perfect way of using up them up, by simply mixing them with some flour.

Last year here at Braehead House, the morning prayer group met to share a feast of pancakes. I remember we were all in good spirits that day, the pandemic that would come and see the centre closed, and the folks scattered into lockdown was still a distant event waiting in the wings...............................

And so, the year has come round again, and although we cannot meet together in person to share the feast, we can mark the day in our own homes, united still in the Holy Spirit.

So, God bless your day, enjoy the feast in your own way, and savour the Love of the Saviour.


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