Sunday 18 February 2018 1st Sunday of Lent or Year B

Collect

Almighty God,

whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,

and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:

give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit;

and, as you know our weakness,

so may we know your power to save;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

or

Heavenly Father,

your Son battled with the powers of darkness,

and grew closer to you in the desert:

help us to use these days to grow in wisdom and prayer

that we may witness to your saving love

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Readings

Genesis 9.8-17

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ 17God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’

This is the word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.

Psalm 25.1-9

1  To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;

O my God, in you I trust; •

let me not be put to shame;

let not my enemies triumph over me.

2  Let none who look to you be put to shame, •

but let the treacherous be shamed and frustrated.

3  Make me to know your ways, O Lord, •

and teach me your paths.

4  Lead me in your truth and teach me, •

for you are the God of my salvation;

for you have I hoped all the day long.

5  Remember, Lord, your compassion and love, •

for they are from everlasting.

6  Remember not the sins of my youth

or my transgressions, •

but think on me in your goodness, O Lord,

according to your steadfast love.

7  Gracious and upright is the Lord; •

therefore shall he teach sinners in the way.

8  He will guide the humble in doing right •

and teach his way to the lowly.

9  All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth •

to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

1 Peter 3.18-end

18For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight people, were saved through water. 21And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

This is the word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

AllGlory to you, O Lord.

Mark 1.9-15

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

AllPraise to you, O Christ.

Post Communion

Lord God,

you have renewed us with the living bread from heaven;

by it you nourish our faith,

increase our hope,

and strengthen our love:

teach us always to hunger for him who is the true and living bread,

and enable us to live by every word that proceeds from out of your mouth;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ash Wednesday Feb 14 2018

Almighty and everlasting God,

you hate nothing that you have made

and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:

create and make in us new and contrite hearts

that we, worthily lamenting our sins

and acknowledging our wretchedness,

may receive from you, the God of all mercy,

perfect remission and forgiveness;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

or

Holy God,

our lives are laid open before you:

rescue us from the chaos of sin

and through the death of your Son

bring us healing and make us whole

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Readings

Joel 2.1-2, 12-17

2

Blow the trumpet in Zion;

sound the alarm on my holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,

for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near—

2 a day of darkness and gloom,

a day of clouds and thick darkness!

Like blackness spread upon the mountains

a great and powerful army comes;

their like has never been from of old,

nor will be again after them

in ages to come.

12 Yet even now, says the Lord,

return to me with all your heart,

with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

13   rend your hearts and not your clothing.

Return to the Lord, your God,

for he is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,

and relents from punishing.

14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,

and leave a blessing behind him,

a grain-offering and a drink-offering

for the Lord, your God?

15 Blow the trumpet in Zion;

sanctify a fast;

call a solemn assembly;

16   gather the people.

Sanctify the congregation;

assemble the aged;

gather the children,

even infants at the breast.

Let the bridegroom leave his room,

and the bride her canopy.

17 Between the vestibule and the altar

let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep.

Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord,

and do not make your heritage a mockery,

a byword among the nations.

Why should it be said among the peoples,

“Where is their God?” ’

This is the word of the Lord.

All Thanks be to God.

or Isaiah 58.1-12

58

Shout out, do not hold back!

Lift up your voice like a trumpet!

Announce to my people their rebellion,

to the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet day after day they seek me

and delight to know my ways,

as if they were a nation that practised righteousness

and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;

they ask of me righteous judgements,

they delight to draw near to God.

3 ‘Why do we fast, but you do not see?

Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?’

Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day,

and oppress all your workers.

4 Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight

and to strike with a wicked fist.

Such fasting as you do today

will not make your voice heard on high.

5 Is such the fast that I choose,

a day to humble oneself?

Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,

and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?

Will you call this a fast,

a day acceptable to the Lord?

6 Is not this the fast that I choose:

to loose the bonds of injustice,

to undo the thongs of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free,

and to break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,

and bring the homeless poor into your house;

when you see the naked, to cover them,

and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,

and your healing shall spring up quickly;

your vindicator shall go before you,

the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.

9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you,

the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

10 if you offer your food to the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

then your light shall rise in the darkness

and your gloom be like the noonday.

11 The Lord will guide you continually,

and satisfy your needs in parched places,

and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden,

like a spring of water,

whose waters never fail.

12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;

you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

you shall be called the repairer of the breach,

the restorer of streets to live in.

This is the word of the Lord.

All Thanks be to God.

Psalm 51.1-18

1  Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness; •

according to the abundance of your compassion

blot out my offences.

2  Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness •

and cleanse me from my sin.

3  For I acknowledge my faults •

and my sin is ever before me.

4  Against you only have I sinned •

and done what is evil in your sight,

5  So that you are justified in your sentence •

and righteous in your judgement.

6  I have been wicked even from my birth, •

a sinner when my mother conceived me.

7  Behold, you desire truth deep within me •

and shall make me understand wisdom

in the depths of my heart.

8  Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; •

wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

9  Make me hear of joy and gladness, •

that the bones you have broken may rejoice.

10  Turn your face from my sins •

and blot out all my misdeeds.

11  Make me a clean heart, O God, •

and renew a right spirit within me.

12  Cast me not away from your presence •

and take not your holy spirit from me.

13  Give me again the joy of your salvation •

and sustain me with your gracious spirit;

14  Then shall I teach your ways to the wicked •

and sinners shall return to you.

15  Deliver me from my guilt, O God,

the God of my salvation, •

and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.

16  O Lord, open my lips •

and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

17  For you desire no sacrifice, else I would give it; •

you take no delight in burnt offerings.

18  The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; •

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

2 Corinthians 5.20b-6.10

20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

6

As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,

‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you,

and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’

See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger; 6by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8in honour and dishonour, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

This is the word of the Lord.

All

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

All

Glory to you, O Lord.

Matthew 6.1-6, 16-21

6

‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 ‘So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

5 ‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

16 ‘And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

19 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

AllPraise to you, O Christ.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

AllGlory to you, O Lord.

or John 8.1-11

8

1while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ 6They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ 8And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ 11She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

AllPraise to you, O Christ.

Post Communion

Almighty God,

you have given your only Son to be for us

both a sacrifice for sin

and also an example of godly life:

give us grace

that we may always most thankfully receive

these his inestimable gifts,

and also daily endeavour to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday (also known in Commonwealth countries and Ireland as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake day) is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, this is a carnival day, and also the last day of “fat eating” or “gorging” before the fasting period of Lent.

Shrove Tuesday

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Fight Between Carnival and Lent (detail), 1559

A by

Followers of many Christian denominations and common custom

Type

Christian

Date

In seventh week before Easter, day before Ash Wednesday

2017 date

February 28

2018 date

February 13

Frequency

Annual

Related to

Ash Wednesday

Fat Thursday

Mardi Gras

This moveable feast is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve“.[1] Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics,[2] who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”[3]

Being the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday

Contents

History

Edit

The tradition of marking the start of Lent has been documented for centuries. Ælfric of Eynsham‘s “Ecclesiastical Institutes” from around 1000 AD states: “In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him as he then may hear by his deeds what he is to do [in the way of penance]”.[4] By the time of the late Middle Ages, the celebration of Shrovetide lasted a week or more before the start of Lent.[5] Pancakes are commonly eaten on this day as they, in Christianity, symbolize “four pillars of the Christian faith–eggs for creation, flour as the mainstay of the human diet, salt for wholesomeness and milk for purity.”[6] Since foods such as butter, eggs and fat are discouraged from being eaten during the Lenten season, Christians use these ingredients during Shrovetide to make pancakes or other rich foods, such as fasnachts and pączkis.[7] The specific custom of Christians eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday dates to the 16th century.[7][8] Along with its emphasis on feasting, another theme of Shrove Tuesday involves Christians repenting of their sins in preparation to begin the season of Lent in the Christian calendar.[9] In many Christian parish churches, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, a popular Shrove Tuesday tradition is the ringing of the church bells (on this day, the toll is known as the Shriving Bell) “to call the faithful to confession before the solemn season of Lent” and for people to “begin frying their pancakes”.[10][11]

Terminology

Edit

<img alt=”” src=”//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3b/Boris_Kustodiev_-_Shrovetide_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg/310px-Boris_Kustodiev_-_Shrovetide_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg” width=”310″ height=”144″ class=”thumbimage” data-file-width=”8077″ data-file-height=”3764″>

Russian artist Boris Kustodiev‘s Maslenitsa (1916)

<img alt=”” src=”//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Zapusty-w-Podmoklach-Wielkich_1950.jpg/220px-Zapusty-w-Podmoklach-Wielkich_1950.jpg” width=”220″ height=”134″ class=”thumbimage” data-file-width=”1102″ data-file-height=”673″>

Shrove Tuesday, Bear guiding (pl) in Poland (1950)

The word shrove is a form of the English word shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Thus Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the custom for Christians to be “shriven” before the start of Lent.[12]

In the United Kingdom, Ireland and parts of the Commonwealth, Shrove Tuesday is also known as “Pancake Day” as it is a common custom to eat pancakes as a meal.[13][14][15][5] Elsewhere, the day has also been called “Fat Tuesday” or “Mardi Gras“.[16]

In Germany, the day is known as Fastnachtsdienstag, Faschingsdienstag, Karnevalsdienstag or Veilchendienstag (the last of which translates to violet [the flower] Tuesday), and celebrated with fancy dress and partial school holiday. Similarly, in German American areas such as Pennsylvania Dutch Country, it is known as Fastnacht Day.[17]

In the Netherlands, it is known as “vastenavond”, or in Limburgish dialect “vastelaovond”, though the word “vastelaovond” usually refers to the entire period of carnival in the Netherlands.[18] In some parts of Switzerland (e.g. Lucerne), the day is called Güdisdienstag, preceded by Güdismontag. According to the Duden dictionary, the term derives from “Güdel”, which means a fat stomach full of food Güdeldienstag.[19]

In Portuguese-, Spanish– and Italian-speaking countries, among others, it is known as Carnival (to use the English spelling). This derives from Medieval Latin carnelevamen (“the putting away of flesh”)[20] and thus to another aspect of the Lenten fast. It is often celebrated with street processions or fancy dress.[18] The most famous of these events is the Brazilian Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, while the Venetians celebrate carnival with a masquerade.[21] The use of the term “carnival” in other contexts derives from here. In Spain, the Carnival Tuesday is named “día de la tortilla” (“omelette day”): an omelette made with some sausage or pork fat is eaten. On the Portuguese island of Madeira, they eat malasadas on Terça-feira Gorda (Fat Tuesday in English) which is also the last day of the Carnival of Madeira. Malasadas were cooked in order to use up all the lard and sugar in the house, in preparation for Lent.[22] This tradition was taken to Hawaii, where Shrove Tuesday is known as Malasada Day, which dates back to the days of the sugar plantations of the 1800s, the resident Catholic Portuguese (mostly from Madeira and the Azores) workers used up butter and sugar prior to Lent by making large batches of malasadas.[23]

In Denmark and Norway, the day is known as Fastelavn and is marked by eating fastelavnsboller. Fastelavn is the name for Carnival in Denmark which is either the Sunday or Monday before Ash Wednesday. Fastelavn developed from the Roman Catholic tradition of celebrating in the days before Lent, but after Denmark became a Protestant nation, the holiday became less specifically religious. This holiday occurs seven weeks before Easter Sunday, with children dressing up in costumes and gathering treats for the Fastelavn feast. The holiday is generally considered to be a time for children’s fun and family games.[24]

In Iceland, the day is known as Sprengidagur (Bursting Day) and is marked by eating salted meat and peas.[22] In Lithuania, the day is called Užgavėnės. People eat pancakes (blynai) and Lithuanian-style doughnuts.[25][26] In Sweden, the day is called Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday), and is generally celebrated by eating a type of pastry called fastlagsbulle or semla.[22] In Finland, the day is called laskiainen and is generally celebrated by eating green pea soup and a pastry called laskiaispulla (sweet bread filled with whipped cream and jam or almond paste, same as the Swedish semla). The celebration often includes downhill sledging. In Estonia, the day is called Vastlapäev and is generally celebrated by eating pea soup and whipped-cream or whipped-cream and jam filled sweet-buns called vastlakukkel, similar to the Swedish fastlagsbulle or semla. Children also typically go sledding on this day.[27]

In Poland, a related celebration falls on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and is called tłusty czwartek (Fat Thursday). In some areas of the United States, with large Polish communities, such as Chicago, Buffalo and Michigan, Tłusty Czwartek is celebrated with pączki or faworki eating contests, music and other Polish food. It may be held on Shrove Tuesday or in the days immediately preceding it.[28]

In Slovenia, Kurentovanje is also the biggest and best known carnival.[29] There are several more local carnivals usually referred to as Laufarija. In Hungary, and the Hungarian-speaking territories, it is called Húshagyókedd (hu)[30] (literally the Tuesday leaving the meat) and is celebrated by fancy dress and visiting neighbours.

Traditions

Edit

Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: in many cultures, this means no meat, dairy products, or eggs.[8]

In Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island small tokens are frequently cooked in the pancakes. Children take delight in discovering the objects, which are intended to be divinatory. For example, the person who receives a coin will be wealthy; a nail indicates that they will become or marry a carpenter.[31][32]

Festivities

Edit

<img alt=”” src=”//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/EnglishPancakeRace.jpg/220px-EnglishPancakeRace.jpg” width=”220″ height=”147″ class=”thumbimage” data-file-width=”3888″ data-file-height=”2592″>

A pancake race in the UK

In the United Kingdom, as part of community celebration, many towns held traditional Shrove Tuesday “mob football” games, some dating as far back as the 17th century. The practice mostly died out in the 19th century after the passing of the Highway Act 1835 which banned playing football on public highways.[33] A number of towns have maintained the tradition, including Alnwick in Northumberland,[34] Ashbourne in Derbyshire (called the Royal Shrovetide Football),[35] Atherstone in Warwickshire (called simply the Atherstone Ball Game),[36] St Columb Major in Cornwall (called Hurling the Silver Ball), and Sedgefield in County Durham.[37]

Shrove Tuesday was once known as a “half-holiday” in Britain. It started at 11:00am with the ringing of a church bell.[38] On Pancake Day, “pancake races” are held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom. The tradition is said to have originated in 1445 when a housewife from Olney, Buckinghamshire, was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake, tossing it to prevent it from burning.[39][40] The pancake race remains a relatively common festive tradition in the UK, especially England. Participants with frying pans race through the streets tossing pancakes into the air and catching them in the pan while running.[41] The pancake race at Olney traditionally has women contestants who carry a frying pan and race over a 415-yard course to the finishing line. The rules are strict: contestants must toss the pancake at the start and the finish, and wear a scarf and apron.[39]

Since 1950 the people of Liberal and Olney, both in Kansas, US, have held the “International Pancake Day” race between the two towns. The two towns’ competitors race along an agreed-upon measured course. The times of the two towns’ competitors are compared to determine a winner overall. After the 2009 race, Liberal was leading with 34 wins to Olney’s 25.[42] A similar race is held in North Somercotes in Lincolnshire, England.[43]

Scarborough celebrates by closing the foreshore to all traffic, closing schools early, and inviting all to skip. Traditionally, long ropes were used from the nearby harbour. The town crier rang the pancake bell, situated on the corner of Westborough (main street) and Huntress Row. Since 1996 a replica “pancake bell” situated at Newborough and North Street has been rung to initiate the day’s festivities.[44]

The children of the hamlet of Whitechapel, Lancashire keep alive a local tradition by visiting local households and asking “please a pancake”, to be rewarded with oranges or sweets. It is thought the tradition arose when farm workers visited the wealthier farm and manor owners to ask for pancakes or pancake fillings.[45]

In Scandinavia, in particular in Finland and Sweden, the day is associated with the almond paste-filled semla pastry.[46]

Thin pancakes called blini are traditional in Christian festivals in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia also at this time of year (Maslenitsa).[47]

In London, the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race takes place every Shrove Tuesday, with teams from the British lower house (the House of Commons), the upper house (the House of Lords), and the Fourth Estate, contending for the title of Parliamentary Pancake Race Champions. The fun relay race is to raise awareness of Rehab, which provides a range of health and social care, training, education, and employment services in the UK for disabled people and others who are marginalised.[48]

Dates

Edit

Shrove Tuesday is exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday, a moveable feast based on the cycles of the moon. The date can be any between 3 February and 9 March inclusive.

Shrove Tuesday occurs on these dates:[49]

▪ 2018 – 13 February

▪ 2019 – 5 March

▪ 2020 – 25 February

▪ 2021 – 16 February

▪ 2022 – 1 March

▪ 2023 – 21 February

▪ 2024 – 13 February

▪ 2025 – 4 March

▪ 2026 – 17 February

▪ 2027 – 9 February

▪ 2028 – 29 February

▪ 2029 – 13 February

▪ 2030 – 5 March

▪ 2031 – 25 February

▪ 2032 – 10 February

▪ 2033 – 1 March

▪ 2034 – 21 February

▪ 2035 – 6 February

▪ 2036 – 26 February

▪ 2037 – 17 February

▪ 2038 – 9 March

▪ 2039 – 22 February

▪ 2040 – 14 February

▪ 2041 – 5 March

▪ 2042 – 18 February

▪ 2043 – 10 February

▪ 2044 – 1 March

▪ 2045 – 21 February

▪ 2046 – 6 February

▪ 2047 – 26 February

▪ 2048 – 18 February

▪ 2049 – 2 March

▪ 2050 – 22 February

▪ 2051 – 14 February

▪ 2052 – 5 March

▪ 2053 – 18 February

▪ 2054 – 10 February

▪ 2055 – 2 March

▪ 2056 – 15 February

▪ 2057 – 6 March

▪ 2058 – 26 February

▪ 2059 – 11 February

▪ 2060 – 2 March

▪ 2061 – 22 February

▪ 2062 – 7 February

▪ 2063 – 27 February

▪ 2064 – 19 February

▪ 2065 – 10 February

▪ 2066 – 23 February

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▪ 2097 – 12 February

▪ 2098 – 4 March

▪ 2099 – 24 February

▪ 2100 – 9 February

See also

Edit

Bonfire of the Vanities

Clean Monday

Collop Monday

Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama – United States French-Catholic festival

Nickanan Night

New Orleans Mardi Gras

Nuremberg Shrovetide Carnival

Powder Day

Shrove Monday

Maslenitsa

Shrove Tuesday: The Legend of Pancake Marion

References

Edit

1 ^ Melitta Weiss Adamson, Francine Segan (2008). Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313086892. “In Anglican countries, Mardis Gras is known as Shrove Tuesday-from shrive meaning “confess”-or Pancake Tuesday”-after the breakfast food that symbolizes one final hearty meal of eggs, butter, and sugar before the fast. On Ash Wednesday, the morning after Mardi Gras, repentant Christians return to church to receive upon the forehead the sign of the cross in ashes.

2 ^ Shrove Tuesday inspires unique church traditions KATIE WALKER Archived 14 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine. 7 March 2011

3 ^ Shrove Tuesday DARREN PROVINE 1 March 2014

4 ^ “CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Shrovetide”. Archived from the original on 14 September 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.

5 ^ a b Self, David (1993). One Hundred Readings for Assembly. Heinemann. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-435-80041-3.

6 ^ Ross, Philip (17 February 2015). “Pancake Day 2015: The History And Meaning Of ‘Shrove Tuesday’ And What Makes The Perfect Pancake”. International Business Times. Retrieved 19 February 2017.

7 ^ a b Collins, Tony; Martin, John; Vamplew, Wray (2005). Encyclopedia of Traditional British Rural Sports. Psychology Press. p. 202. ISBN 9780415352246. “The association between pancakes and Shrove Tuesday appears to have its origins in the fact that the pancakes used up food such as butter, eggs and fat that were prohibited during Lent, which begins the following day on Ash Wednesday. … Pancakes have been eaten on Shrove Tuesday since at least the sixteenth century. In some parishes it was the custom for the church bell to ring at noon as the signal for people to begin frying their pancakes.”

8 ^ a b Ross, Philip (17 February 2015). “Pancake Day 2015: The History And Meaning Of ‘Shrove Tuesday’ And What Makes The Perfect Pancake”. International Business Times. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.

9 ^ Stephens, Valerie. Basic Philosophy. p. 21. ISBN 9781329951747. “Then there is Shrove Tuesday, which is the day observed before Ash Wednesday or Lent. Shrove Tuesday derives from the days where the earliest practicing Christians would repent of their sins and be “shriven” or pardoned.”

10 ^ Cocks, Alfred Heneage (1897). The church bells of Buckinghamshire: their inscriptions, founders, and uses, and traditions; &c. Jarrold & sons. p. 276.

11 ^ Pulleyn, William (1828). The Etymological Compendium, Or Portfolio of Origins and Inventions. Richard Griffin and Company. p. 192.

12 ^ “CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Shrovetide”. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.

13 ^ “Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day!”. Irish Culture and Customs. Archived from the original on 9 December 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2006.

14 ^ “Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) in the UK”. British Embassy, Washington DC. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2006.

15 ^ “Easter in Australia”. The Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal. Archived from the original on 7 October 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2006.

16 ^ Love Life Live Lent Family Book: Transform Your World. Church House Publishing. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7151-4182-3. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.

17 ^ Shoemaker, Alfred Lewis (2000). Eastertide in Pennsylvania: A Folk-cultural Study. Stackpole Books. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8117-0548-6. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.

18 ^ a b Spicer, Dorothy Gladys (1973). Festivals of Western Europe. Library of Alexandria. ISBN 978-1-4655-7999-7. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.

19 ^ “Güdeldienstag”. Duden. Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.

20 ^ American Heritage Dictionary

21 ^ “History of Venice Carnival”. Oltrex. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

22 ^ a b c “This is what people eat on Shrove Tuesday around the world”. Metro. 26 February 2016. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

23 ^ “Malasada Day”. Leonard’s Bakery. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

24 ^ “Fastelavn celebration”. Danish Home of Chicago. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

25 ^ “Užgavėnės”. Lithuanian Music Hall Association. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

26 ^ “The Shrove Festival (February)”. visit Lithuania.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

27 ^ Complete Estonian: Teach Yourself. Hachette. 2012. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-444-17349-9. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.

28 ^ [1] Archived 16 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine.

29 ^ Isalaska, Anita (4 March 2015). “10 Reasons to Visit Slovenia in 2015”. CNN. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

30 ^ Amon, Ildi (27 January 2015). “Explainer: Farsang celebrations in Hungary”. welovebudapest.com. Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

31 ^ “Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage”. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.

32 ^ “Its Shrove Tuesday and Pancake Day”. Cape Breton Post. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014.

33 ^ Polley, Martin (2013). The British Olympics: Britain’s Olympic Heritage 1612–2012. English Heritage. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-848-02226-3.

34 ^ “Hundreds gather for Alnwick Shrovetide game”. BBC News. 17 February 2015. Archived from the original on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

35 ^ “Ashbourne Shrovetide Football: Up’Ards take honours on first day”. BBC News. 9 February 2016. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

36 ^ “Dive for cover – it’s the Atherstone Ball Game!”. BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 November 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

37 ^ “Shrove Tuesday events”. The Daily Telegraph. 3 March 2014. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

38 ^ “Cooks Guide”. Cooks Guide. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.

39 ^ a b “The origin of pancake racing”. Bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.

40 ^ “Olney Pancake Race”. ukstudentlife.com. Archived from the original on 29 July 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015.

41 ^ Tony Collins; John Martin; Wray Vamplew, eds. (2005). Encyclopedia of Traditional British Rural Sports. Psychology Press. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-415-35224-6. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.

42 ^ “Liberal wins 60th Int’l Pancake race”. United Press International (UPI). Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2011.

43 ^ “Welcome to Our Village”. North Somercoates Parish Council. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

44 ^ “Skipping Day 2015”. Scarborough.uk. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

45 ^ (7 February 2008), “Pancake traditions in village” Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Longridge News, accessed 16 June 2010

46 ^ “Lent Buns (Semlor)”. swedishfood.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

47 ^ “Maslenitsa”. advantour.com. Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

48 ^ “MPs had a pancake race and it got a bit rowdy”. Metro. 9 February 2016. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.

49 ^ “Mardi Gras Dates”. Nutrias.org. 30 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2014.

External links

Sunday 11 February 2018 Sunday next before Lent Year B

Almighty Father,

whose Son was revealed in majesty

before he suffered death upon the cross:

give us grace to perceive his glory,

that we may be strengthened to suffer with him

and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

or

Holy God,

you know the disorder of our sinful lives:

set straight our crooked hearts,

and bend our wills to love your goodness and your glory

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Readings

2 Kings 2.1-12

2

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel. 3The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent.’

4 Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So they came to Jericho. 5The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I know; be silent.’

6 Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.’ Elisha said, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.’ 10He responded, ‘You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.’ 11As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12Elisha kept watching and crying out, ‘Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

This is the word of the Lord.

All Thanks be to God.

Psalm 50.1-6

1  The Lord, the most mighty God, has spoken •

and called the world from the rising of the sun to its setting.

2  Out of Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth; •

our God comes and will not keep silence.

3  Consuming fire goes out before him •

and a mighty tempest stirs about him.

4  He calls the heaven above, •

and the earth, that he may judge his people:

5  ‘Gather to me my faithful, •

who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.’

6  Let the heavens declare his righteousness, •

for God himself is judge.

2 Corinthians 4.3-6

3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

This is the word of the Lord.

All

Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

All

Glory to you, O Lord.

Mark 9.2-9

2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All Praise to you, O Christ.

Post Communion

Holy God,

we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ:

may we who are partakers at his table

reflect his life in word and deed,

that all the world may know his power to change and save.

This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sunday 4 February 2018 2nd Sunday before Lent Colour green

Almighty God,

you have created the heavens and the earth

and made us in your own image:

teach us to discern your hand in all your works

and your likeness in all your children;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things,

now and for ever.

or

Almighty God,

give us reverence for all creation

and respect for every person,

that we may mirror your likeness

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Readings

Proverbs 8.1, 22-31

8

Does not wisdom call,

and does not understanding raise her voice?

22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,

the first of his acts of long ago.

23 Ages ago I was set up,

at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,

when there were no springs abounding with water.

25 Before the mountains had been shaped,

before the hills, I was brought forth—

26 when he had not yet made earth and fields,

or the world’s first bits of soil.

27 When he established the heavens, I was there,

when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,

28 when he made firm the skies above,

when he established the fountains of the deep,

29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,

so that the waters might not transgress his command,

when he marked out the foundations of the earth,

30   then I was beside him, like a master worker;

and I was daily his delight,

rejoicing before him always,

31 rejoicing in his inhabited world

and delighting in the human race.

This is the word of the Lord.

AllThanks be to God.

Psalm 104.26-end

26  O Lord, how manifold are your works! •

In wisdom you have made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

27  There is the sea, spread far and wide, •

and there move creatures beyond number, both small and great.

28  There go the ships, and there is that Leviathan •

which you have made to play in the deep.

29  All of these look to you •

to give them their food in due season.

30  When you give it them, they gather it; •

you open your hand and they are filled with good.

31  When you hide your face they are troubled; •

when you take away their breath,

they die and return again to the dust.

32  When you send forth your spirit, they are created, •

and you renew the face of the earth.

33  May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; •

may the Lord rejoice in his works;

34  He looks on the earth and it trembles; •

he touches the mountains and they smoke.

35  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; •

I will make music to my God while I have my being.

36  So shall my song please him •

while I rejoice in the Lord.

37  Let sinners be consumed out of the earth

and the wicked be no more. •

Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Alleluia.

Colossians 1.15-20

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

This is the word of the Lord.

All Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

All Glory to you, O Lord.

John 1.1-14

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All Praise to you, O Christ.

Post Communion

God our creator,

by your gift

the tree of life was set at the heart of the earthly paradise,

and the bread of life at the heart of your Church:

may we who have been nourished at your table on earth

be transformed by the glory of the Saviour’s cross

and enjoy the delights of eternity;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ordinary Time: February 2nd Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

MASS READINGS

February 02, 2018 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Almighty ever-living God, we humbly implore your majesty that, just as your Only Begotten Son was presented on this day in the Temple in the substance of our flesh, so, by your grace, we may be presented to you with minds made pure. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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» Enjoy our Liturgical Seasons series of e-books!

Old Calendar: Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in today’s liturgy.

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is referred to as the “Purification of Mary.” This is known as a “Christmas feast” since it points back to the Solemnity of Christmas. Many Catholics practice the tradition of keeping out the Nativity creche or other Christmas decorations until this feast.

On February 2nd a quaint tradition unfolds, known well to schoolchildren and adults alike. The fate of Spring hangs in the balance as a burrowing animal looks for its shadow. But where did this tradition come from? See the link below for an article that explains this tradition.

The Readings

Today’s first reading gives us an important insight to understand profoundly the mystery of the Lord’s Presentation in the Temple by Mary and Joseph, in accordance with the canons of Mosaic Law. The text, taken from the Prophet Malachi says, ‘I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord who you seek’ (Mal 3:1). From all the Gospels, we know that it is the Precursor, St John the Baptist who was born 6 months before Jesus, that God sent to prepare His way. Putting these evangelical facts together, we can comprehend the words of the Prophet Malachi. The Lord God promised that He would send a Precursor to prepare His way. Since there is only 6 months between the birth of St John the Baptist and Jesus it is clear that the prophecy meant that suddenly after the Precursor, the Lord Himself will come. So, soon after the Baptist’s birth, God entered His temple. Jesus’ presentation signifies God’s entrance to His temple. God made man entered His temple, presenting Himself to those who were really searching for Him.

Today’s Gospel introduces us to different people and events that in themselves provide numerous lessons and themes for further reflection. First of all, Mary and Joseph respect the Mosaic Law by offering the sacrifice prescribed for the poor: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

Simeon and Anna were two venerable elderly people dedicated to prayer and fasting and so their strong religious spirit rendered them able to recognize the Messiah. In this sense we can see in the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple an extension of the ‘Pro Orantibus Day’ (For those who pray) that is celebrated on the feast of the Presentation of Mary (21 November). On this day, the Church demonstrates its gratitude to all those in the community that dedicate themselves in a privileged way to prayer, to those who have a particular religious vocation to the contemplative life. In the figure of the venerable Simeon, Jesus’ presentation in the temple, also reminds us that prayer and contemplation are not just a waste of time or an obstacle to charity. On the contrary, time could not be better spent than in prayer as true Christian charity is a consequence of a solid interior life. Only those who pray and offer penance, like Simeon and Anna, are open to the breath of the Spirit. They know how to recognize the Lord in the circumstances in which He manifests Himself because they possess an ample interior vision, and they have learned how to love with the heart of the One whose very name is Charity.

At the end of the Gospel Simeon’s prophecy of Mary’s sufferings is emphasized. Pope John Paul II taught that, ‘Simeon’s words seem like a second Annunciation to Mary, for they tell her of the actual historical situation in which the Son is to accomplish his mission, namely, in misunderstanding and sorrow.’ (Redemptoris Mater, n16) The archangel’s announcement was a fount of incredible joy because it pertained to Jesus’ messianic royalty and the supernatural character of His virginal conception. The announcement of the elderly in the temple instead spoke of the Lord’s work of redemption that He would complete associating Himself through suffering to His Mother. Therefore, there is a strong Marian dimension to this feast and so in the Liturgical Calendar of the Extraordinary Form it is called the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This refers to the other aspect of the presentation that consists of the ritual purification of Jewish women after they had given birth. In Mary’s case this purification was not necessary, but it indicates the renewal of her total offering of herself to God for the accomplishment of His Divine Plan.

Simeon’s prophecy also announces that Christ will be ‘a sign of contradiction’. St Cyril of Alexandria, in one of his homilies, interpreted the words ‘sign of contradiction’ like a noble cross, as St Paul wrote to the Corinthians ‘a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles’ (1 Cor 1:23) […] It is a sign of contradiction in the sense that those who loose appear as foolish while in those who recognize its power [the cross] reveals salvation and life’ (c.f PG 77, 1044-1049).

— Excerpted from Congregation for the Clergy

Presentation of the Lord

The feast was first observed in the Eastern Church as “The Encounter.” In the sixth century, it began to be observed in the West: in Rome with a more penitential character and in Gaul (France) with solemn blessings and processions of candles, popularly known as “Candlemas.” The Presentation of the Lord concludes the celebration of the Nativity and with the offerings of the Virgin Mother and the prophecy of Simeon, the events now point toward Easter.

“In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another ‘epiphany’ celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess. Christ is the light of the nations, hence the blessing and procession of candles on this day. In the Middle Ages this feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or ‘Candlemas,’ was of great importance.

“The specific liturgy of this Candlemas feast, the blessing of candles, is not as widely celebrated as it should be, except of course whenever February 2 falls on a Sunday and thus takes precedence. There are two ways of celebrating the ceremony, either the Procession, which begins at a ‘gathering place’ outside the church, or the Solemn Entrance, celebrated within the church.”

— From Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year

Until 1969, the ancient feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, which is of Oriental origin, was known in the West as the feast of the Purification of Our Lady, and closed the Christmas Cycle, forty days after the Lord’s birth. This feast has for long been associated with many popular devotional exercises. The faithful:

• gladly participate in the processions commemorating the Lord’s entry into the Temple in Jerusalem and His encounter with God, whose house He had come to for the first time, and then with Simeon and Anna. Such processions, which in the West had taken the place of licentious pagan events, always had a penitential character, and were later identified with the blessing of candles which were carried in procession in honor of Christ, ‘the light to enlighten the Gentiles’ (Lk 2, 32);

• are sensitive to the actions of the Blessed Virgin in presenting her Son in the Temple, and to her submission to the Law of Moses (Lk 12, 1-8) in the rite of purification; popular piety sees in the rite of purification the humility of Our Lady and hence, 2 February has long been regarded as a feast for those in humble service.

Popular piety is sensitive to the providential and mysterious event that is the conception and birth of new life. Christian mothers can easily identify with the maternity of Our Lady, the most pure Mother of the Head of the mystical Body — notwithstanding the notable differences in the Virgin’s unique conception and birth.

These too are mothers in God’s plan and are about to give birth to future members of the Church. From this intuition and a certain mimesis of the purification of Our Lady, the rite of purification after birth was developed, some of whose elements reflect negatively on birth.

The revised Rituale Romanum provides for the blessing of women both before and after birth, this latter only in cases where the mother could not participate at the baptism of her child.

It is a highly desirable thing for mothers and married couples to ask for these blessings which should be given in accord with the Church’s prayer: in a communion of faith and charity in prayer so that pregnancy can be brought to term without difficulty (blessing before birth), and to give thanks to God for the gift of a child (blessing after birth).

In some local Churches, certain elements taken from the Gospel account of the Presentation of the Lord (Lk 2, 22-40), such as the obedience of Joseph and Mary to the Law of the Lord, the poverty of the holy spouses, the virginity of Our Lady, mark out 2 February as a special feast for those at the service of the brethren in the various forms of consecrated life.

The feast of 2 February still retains a popular character. It is necessary, however, that such should reflect the true Christian significance of the feast. It would not be proper for popular piety in its celebration of this feast to overlook its Christological significance and concentrate exclusively on its Marian aspects. The fact that this feast should be ‘considered […] a joint memorial of Son and Mother’ would not support such an inversion. The candles kept by the faithful in their homes should be seen as a sign of Christ ‘the light of the world’ and an expression of faith.

— Excerpted from Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

Things to Do:

• Ask your parish priest to bless the candles that you will be using on your home altar this year.

• Have a family Candlemas procession, found in the prayer links.

• Read Luke 2:22-35, the account of the presentation including the Canticle of Simeon.

• Meditate on the constant fiat of Our Lady of Sorrows, who embraced the will of God even as Simeon predicted that a sword would pierce her heart.

• Read this article to see what the connection between Candlemas and Groundhog Day.

Old Testament       Malachi 3:1–4

Psalm       Psalm 84 or Psalm 24:7–10

New Testament       Hebrews 2:14–18

Gospel       Luke 2:22–40

Index of Readings

OLD TESTAMENT

Malachi 3:1–4

3 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

PSALM

Option A

Psalm 84

Psalm 84

To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.

1How lovely is your dwelling place,

O LORD of hosts!

2My soul longs, indeed it faints

for the courts of the LORD;

my heart and my flesh sing for joy

to the living God.

3Even the sparrow finds a home,

and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may lay her young,

at your altars, O LORD of hosts,

my King and my God.

4Happy are those who live in your house,

ever singing your praise.       Selah

5Happy are those whose strength is in you,

in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

6As they go through the valley of Baca

they make it a place of springs;

the early rain also covers it with pools.

7They go from strength to strength;

the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

😯 LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;

give ear, O God of Jacob!       Selah

9Behold our shield, O God;

look on the face of your anointed.

10For a day in your courts is better

than a thousand elsewhere.

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

than live in the tents of wickedness.

11For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

he bestows favor and honor.

No good thing does the LORD withhold

from those who walk uprightly.

12O LORD of hosts,

happy is everyone who trusts in you.

OR

Option B

Psalm 24:7–10

7Lift up your heads, O gates!

and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

that the King of glory may come in.

8Who is the King of glory?

The LORD, strong and mighty,

the LORD, mighty in battle.

9Lift up your heads, O gates!

and be lifted up, O ancient doors!

that the King of glory may come in.

10Who is this King of glory?

The LORD of hosts,

he is the King of glory.       Selah

NEW TESTAMENT

Hebrews 2:14–18

14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

GOSPEL

Luke 2:22–40

22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

29“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,

according to your word;

30for my eyes have seen your salvation,

31which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32a light for revelation to the Gentiles

and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Revised Common Lectionary (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2009).

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Rite One Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and in our time grant us thy peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Epiphany, Rite One

Because in the mystery of the Word made flesh, thou hast caused a new light to shine in our hearts, to give the knowledge of thy glory in the face of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 (NRSV)

Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: ‘If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.’ Then the Lord replied to me: ‘They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak—that prophet shall die.’”

This is the word of the Lord

Psalm 111

Confitebor tibi

1

Hallelujah!

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, *

in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.

2

Great are the deeds of the Lord! *

they are studied by all who delight in them.

3

His work is full of majesty and splendor, *

and his righteousness endures for ever.

4

He makes his marvelous works to be remembered; *

the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.

5

He gives food to those who fear him; *

he is ever mindful of his covenant.

6

He has shown his people the power of his works *

in giving them the lands of the nations.

7

The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice; *

all his commandments are sure.

8

They stand fast for ever and ever, *

because they are done in truth and equity.

9

He sent redemption to his people;

he commanded his covenant for ever; *

holy and awesome is his Name.

10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; *

those who act accordingly have a good understanding;

his praise endures for ever.

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 (NRSV)

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him. Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

This is the word of the Lord

This is the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark

Mark 1:21-28 (NRSV)

Jesus and his disciples went into Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.