Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Shrove (Fat) Tuesday

For Roman Catholics and those who follow the Roman Catholic calendar today is the last day before Lent.  In many parts of the Christian West it was traditionally observed with parties and large meals before entering the rigors of the Great Fast at midnight. 


Steve said...

That was in the days when the West knew how to fast.

A little-known factoid: The day before Shrove Tuesday is Collop Monday, from the (I think) old English word "collop" meaning "a hunk of meat". Thus on Collop Monday, one used up all the meat in the house.

Giving up chocolate ("except on Sundays"), coffee ("except at work") and alcohol ("except when going out with friends)" doesn't really cut it.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Well that didn't take too long. Now that we have gotten the obligatory shot at contemporary Roman Catholic (non)fasting discipline out of the way I see no need for further comments on the subject. Let us each attend to our own fast and let others worry about theirs.

Anonymous said...

A blessed Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday to our Western Orthodox Brethren in the Antiochian and ROCOR Vicariates!

Steve said...

Correction humbly accepted. I'm snarky today for reasons that have nothing to do with Romans, fasting or Great Lent. I should have thought before posting, and then not posted.

Forgive me, (particularly) my Western Christian brothers and sisters. May God give me grace to fast from disgraceful speech and railing.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Note: Steve accidentally (I presume) posted the preceding comment on a different thread. I have moved it to here.

peggy38 said...

Just a comment in response to Steve's first comment (no offense taken and I am not saying this in a defensive spirit)

As an Anglo-Catholic, I am given to understand that the Sunday exception in Lent is for a reason. Whether that reason is justified or not is up to you. But it was explained to me that since Sunday is always a feast day, given that it is the Day of Our Lord's Resurrection, then we should not fast on this day.

However, this exception is not an excuse to go gaga and stuff our faces full of goodies we have otherwise given up. The principle is to eat or drink these things in moderation and in thanksgiving to our Lord.

In this case, I feel gratitude to Christ because I don't have to fast to earn my way into Heaven as some other faith's require. It is a good reminder to me personally that fasting is for my benefit and not meant to be overly onerous. That said, I have no critique of any other Christian fasting tradition. Just mentioning what I appreciate about mine! :-)

Ingemar said...

Mardi Gras is proof that even atheists can make use of the Catholic calendar.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Even before the schism, the West kept a fast discipline that was somewhat different from the East. I.E. Sundays were never kept as a fast day. In this respect they appear to have hewed more closely to both the letter and spirit of the church canons.