Shrovetide, also known as the Pre-Lenten Season, is the Christian
period of preparation before the beginning of the liturgical season of
Shrovetide starts on
Septuagesima Sunday, includes
Quinquagesima Sunday (commonly called Shrove
Sunday), as well as Shrove Monday, and culminates on Shrove
Tuesday. One hallmark of
Shrovetide is the merrymaking associated
with Carnival. On the final day of the season, Shrove Tuesday, many
traditional Christians, such as Anglicans, Lutherans,
Roman Catholics, "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."
Roman Rite (pre-1970 form, and today in the Ordinariate Form
and Extraordinary Form), and in similar Anglican and Lutheran
uses, a pre-Lenten season lasts from
Septuagesima Sunday until Shrove
Tuesday and has thus also been known as Shrovetide. The
Extraordinary form of the
Roman Rite that includes this special period
of 17 days refers to it as the season of Septuagesima; the Ordinariate
Form uses the term Pre-Lent. The liturgy of the period is
characterized by violet vestments (except on feasts), the omission of
Alleluia before the Gospel, and a more penitential mood. Fasting
does not commence until the beginning of
Lent on Ash Wednesday. The
earliest the Pre-Lenten season can begin is January 18 and the latest
it can end is March 9. It is absent in the Ordinary Form of the Roman
Rite and more recent Anglican forms of all these traditions, but may
be found in some Lutheran churches who use the One-Year
organize the church year.
In Northern Germany, local tradition states that if "sausages and
sauerkraut are eaten at Shrovetide, good luck will follow". On the
last day of Shrovetide, in Bohemia, a man personifies "Shrovetide" in
a procession of masqueraders and whoever is able to snatch straw from
his hat and place it under a hen in the coming Spring is said to have
eggs that surely will hatch.
Paschal cycle and Great Lent
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches
which follow the Byzantine Rite, the pre-Lenten season lasts three
weeks, beginning on the Sunday of the Publican and the
continuing through the
Sunday of Forgiveness
Sunday of Forgiveness (the day before the
beginning of Great Lent). Since the liturgical day begins at sunset,
Lent begins on a Monday, the point at which Great Lent
begins is at
Vespers on the night of the Sunday of Forgiveness, with a
"Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness" (in some monasteries, this ceremony
is performed at
Compline instead of Vespers). Thus begins the first
day of the Great Fast, which is known as Clean Monday. The weeks of
Lent and Great
Lent are anticipatory by nature; they begin on
Monday and end on Sunday, each week being named for the theme of the
upcoming Sunday. The hymns used during the Pre-Lenten and Lenten
seasons are taken from a book called the Triodion.
The weeks of the Pre-Lenten Season break are:
Zacchaeus Sunday (Slavic tradition) is sometimes regarded as a
pre-Lenten Sunday because of its place in the Slavic lectionary. In
that tradition, it is the 11th Sunday before Pascha (Easter). There
are no hymns proper to this Sunday, however; its only distinguishing
feature is the reading of the
19:1-10). This lectionary reading is sometimes also appointed on the
same Sunday in the Byzantine ("Greek") lectionary, as well. The week
following this Sunday is a normal, non-Lenten time, since it falls
outside the Triodion.
The Publican and the Pharisee: 10th Sunday before Pascha (70 days).
The week following this Sunday is a fast-free week, lest the faithful
be tempted, like the
Pharisee to boast about fasting.
The Prodigal Son: 9th Sunday before Pascha (63 days). The week
following this Sunday is the last during which the laity may eat meat
or meat products. The fasting rules for this week are the same as
those for non-Lenten periods.
Last Judgment or Meat-Fare Sunday (the last day meat may be
eaten): 8th Sunday before Pascha (56 days). The week following this
Sunday is called
Cheese-Fare Week and is a fast-free week, with the
exception that meat and meat products are forbidden.
Sunday of Forgiveness
Sunday of Forgiveness or Cheese-Fare Sunday: 7th Sunday before Pascha
(49 days). This Sunday is the last day dairy products may be consumed.
Throughout Great Lent, fish, wine, and olive oil will be allowed only
on certain days.
^ a b Gardner, Kevin J. (18 September 2008). Poems in the Porch: The
Radio Poems of John Betjeman. A&C Black. p. 56.
Septuagesima is the third Sunday before Lent
and commences the pre-Lenten season of Shrovetide.
^ Lester, G.A. (29 May 2014). Three Late Medieval Morality Plays.
Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 36. ISBN 9781408144077. The
time-setting is winter (lines 54, 323), but it is not clear whether it
is Christmas, as implied by the 'Christmas song' (line 332), or
Shrovetide, the pre-Lenten period of merrymaking, when the playing of
football (cf. line 732 and note) was one of the ways of enjoying a
final fling before the austerities to come.
^ Rickaby, John (1920). The Ecclesiastical Year. Joseph F. Wagner.
p. 48. By its name
Shrovetide means the time of shrift and is a
religious season. It goes along with Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and
Quinquagesima, as part of the preparation for Lent, which is itself
preparatory to the great
Easter Festival. access-date= requires
^ Whistler, Laurence (5 October 2015). English Festivals. Dean Street
Press. p. 86. ISBN 9781910570494. The Tuesday that follows
the first eyelash of a new moon in February is the last of the three
days of Shrovetide: preceded by
Quinquagesima Sunday and Shrove
^ O'Connor, Kevin (1 January 2006). Culture and Customs of the Baltic
States. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 95.
ISBN 9780313331251. As the culmination of the four-day
meat-eating period known as Shrovetide,
Shrove Tuesday is the last day
before Lent, a period of fasting that begins on
Ash Wednesday and
lasts for 40 days until Easter.
^ Beadle, Richard (17 March 1994). The Cambridge Companion to Medieval
English Theatre. Cambridge University Press. p. 69.
ISBN 9780521459167. One of these was the pre-
extravaganza of Shrovetide, though this seems to have been celebrated
to a much lesser extent in Britain than it was (and still is) on the
continent: however, we know of English
Shrovetide plays, and Mankind
bears signs of being one of them (335).
^ Walker, Katie (7 March 2011). "
Shrove Tuesday inspires unique church
traditions". Daily American. Retrieved 4 January 2016. Many local
churches will celebrate
Shrove Tuesday tomorrow, a day of feasting
commonly known as “pancake day.”
Shrove Tuesday is typically
observed by Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist and Catholic denominations,
but each church celebrates the day in its own, unique way. The Rev.
Lenny Anderson of the St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in
Somerset said the primary focus of
Shrove Tuesday is to prepare for
Lent, the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter.
^ Kiefer, James. "Shrove Tuesday". Rowan University. Missing or
empty url= (help); access-date= requires url= (help)
^ 2018 ORDO for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter,
^ 2016 Ordo for use with the 1962 Missale Romanum Forma Extraordinara,
Canons Regular of St John Cantius, Biretta Books, Chicago 2015
^ "The season of
Septuagesima runs from I vespers of Septuagesima
Sunday to compline of Tuesday after Quinquagesima Sunday" (1960 Code
^ a b Daniels, Cora Linn Morrison; Stevens, Charles McClellan (1903).
Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of
the World: A Comprehensive Library of Human Belief and Practice in the
Mysteries of Life. J. H. Yewdale & Sons Company.
p. 1577. access-date= requires url= (help)
Burial of Jesus
Crucifixion of Jesus
Dormition of the Theotokos
Good Friday Prayer
Good Friday prayer for the Jews
Resurrection of Jesus
Burning of Judas
Clipping the church
Easter egg tree
Egg decorating in Slavic culture
Holy Week procession
Pace Egg play
Scoppio del carro
Easter games and customs
Ecclesiastical new moon
Paschal Full Moon
Reform of the date of Easter
Divine Mercy Sunday
Octave of Easter