What is Shrove Tuesday?
Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. The custom goes back to when Lent was more abstemious than it is today and milk, eggs, cream, butter and other fats were forbidden during Lent. So thrifty homemakers used up these foods, making pancakes or other high fat foods like Polish paczki. So, have pancakes for supper on Tuesday and talk about Shrove Tuesday and the beginning of Lent.
“Shrove” comes from “shriven,” meaning your sins have been confessed and “shriven” or forgiven. Lenten disciplines do not earn forgiveness which is already freely given; they encourage growth and deepening of faith.
Shrove Tuesday is also a day when you can “bury the alleluia” and not use it at church or home during Lent. “Alleluia” is a word especially associated with Easter. It has been omitted from Lenten liturgy since at least the 5th century, forming a sort of verbal fast. Children can make specially decorated paper “Alleluias.” “Bury” them in a secure, hidden place and bring them out anew on Easter with special joy.