A Mardi Gras Prayer
for the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday
|Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday") and Carnival ("Farewell
to Meat") precede Ash Wednesday and Lent around the world, even where Lent
has ceased to have much religious meaning. It was natural to develop
a festival, a "last fling," before the prayerful fasting and abstinence
How can we give this day before Ash Wednesday some religious meaning for us?
It may be that we are going to a Mardi Gras party and there will be much feasting. Our country may celebrate Carnival with gusto. Perhaps we can have a special family dinner together, with meat.
What's important is that we let our feasting anticipate our fasting. One way to do that is to begin to focus on the meaning of the day, when we first get up. It can create a sense of anticipation all day, that something very new is about to begin tomorrow.
We can prepare for whatever we will do, no matter how purely "social" or simply ordinary our day will be. Knowing why we go to a party, or enjoying the planning or preparation for a special meal, will add much meaning to this day.
In these or similar words, we can pray in the
spirit of this day.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,