Ritual & Tradition
How-to do Ritual and Tradition
Try this ritual and tradition activity at home.
Some ideas for Ash Wednesday at home.
Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, highlights the start of Lent. In the past there would have been great feasts held to use up supplies of fat, butter and eggs. These foods were forbidden during Lent. The idea was that people gave up these foods for the whole period. Lent lasts for 40 days and 40 nights and reminds us of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness before his ministry began, praying and being tempted by Satan. During this time Jesus fasted from food. Lent ends with Easter Sunday
People today sometimes choosing to give up a special food they like, just as the people at the feast did. There are often two parts to this – the first being as a symbol of discipline, commitment to God, and being sorry for sin, and the second being that the money normally spent on your special food is saved during Lent and given to the church on Easter Sunday. A lot of people today choose to do an extra job or task instead of, or as well as giving something up. It may be collecting the hymn books up after the church service, or raising money for a good cause.
During your pancake eating, you could encourage those present to think of something to do either individually or as part of a group. Ask everyone to write up their fasts and resolutions for Lent on a giant paper pancake. Pray together for help to carry them out.
The day after Shrove Tuesday is Ash Wednesday (1st March this year), which marks the beginning of Lent. As a sign of repentance, Christians traditionally are marked with ashes in the shape of a cross on the forehead.
Thinking of attending an Ash Wednesday service? Here's some good reasons why:
- We know we belong - although each week children can understand this, when they see adults and others marked with the cross of ashes and they themselves receive it, they can see that they are part of the faith community.
- We learn that all of us mess up and are forgiven - the ashes are black and messy, and when the adults around them confess their sins and wear them visibly children can relate that to themselves too.
- It sets us up for Lent and Easter - we understand that we are entering the season of Lent, and Jesus' journey to the cross that we remember in Holy Week, ready for resurrection celebration at Easter.
If you can't attend a service, try the ideas for Ash Wednesday at home.