Locals celebrate Shrove Tuesday, Fasching
Fri, 2016-02-12 05:00 News Staff
By KATHLEEN STARLING
Tuesday evening, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church held their annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner.
“For what seems like forever, the men of the church make a pancake dinner for Shrove Tuesday,” said Reverend Paulette Magnuson, the church’s vicar.
Whether it’s called Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or Fasching, the day is the last indulgence before the fasting of the Lenten season which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Magnuson also explained that the dinner was an opportunity for the adults of the congregation to fellowship and for the children to enjoy breakfast for dinner, yummy sticky syrup, and some crazy sugar-induced mayhem.
More than 30 people turned out for the dinner, “which is a blessing in our growing congregation,” Magnuson explained.
A few years ago the congregation had a couple dozen members, but has grown to around 60. This growth has created opportunities for the church, like a youth group, and a choir, which had not been feasible with the smaller membership.
With the pancakes eaten, the dishes and kitchen cleaned up, and the kids slowing down at least a little, Reverend Magnuson turned the talk to Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of the Lenten season, which is a 40-day fasting period of introspection, confession and penance for many Christians, that ends with Easter.
Three years ago the Reverend took the ashes on the road, visiting local nursing homes, and parishioners unable to get out and about, this Ash Wednesday outreach was very well received. Magnuson explained that some larger cities have “Drive Thru” or Ashes-To-Go on Ash Wednesday, and thinks a service of this nature would do well in our cozy, yet very busy community. Ashes-To- Go services place church leaders in easily accessible places like grocery store parking lots where people wishing to receive the blessing can just drive up and then be on their way.
In another part of town, another pre-Lenten shindig was under way. German Imbiss played host to a Fasching celebration open to the public.
A small group of friends who has been celebrating Fasching together for years, decided to ask the public to join them this year in the spirit of The-more-the-merrier.
Many may be familiar with Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, but not Fasching. The different regions and cultures of Germany and German speaking countries have numerous traditions celebrating the time leading up to Lent. Bavarians, residents of Berlin, and Austrians celebrate Fasching.
Fasching officially begins the eleventh day of the eleventh month at eleven minutes after eleven in the morning and culminates with larger celebrations the week prior to Ash Wednesday.
“It is a Bavarian tradition where we chase winter away; people dress up as witches, with their brooms. And it is nice to get out and be with friends,” said Marlene Toleafoa, who attended the Fasching celebration at German Imbiss.
The Fasching celebrations and parades continue all week until the stroke of midnight on Shrove Tuesday. Unlike Shrove Tuesday, Fasching is not only a chance to binge before the fast, but in many regions a chance to mock the local government, shoo the cold winter and beckon the temperate spring.
James and Barbara Litz, their son Joshua, Resi Sunde and Marlene Toleafoa had hoped for a larger turnout but were determined to have a wonderful time no matter what. Not to be deterred, the friends spoke of plans for next year; more advertising and earlier, as well as possible door prizes, games and contests.
Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, and Fasching, it seems that Copperas Cove has a pre-Lenten celebration for just about everyone.