Churches prepare for Shrove Tuesday
Three local churches will celebrate an age-old tradition when they heat up the griddles, mix up the batter, and serve fluffy pancakes to community members.
Members of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church continue their decades-long tradition of hosting a Shrove Tuesday Community Pancake Supper, which is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13 at the church, on the corner of East First and Holly streets.
"It's a way for us to have an opportunity to have members of the community come into our church for a social time and have pancakes — break bread together," said Nancy Condron, a lifelong member of St. Andrew's who is coordinating the pancake supper.
This year, they are teaming up with members of the Prineville Presbyterian Church and Our Savior's Lutheran Church to host the event. Members of all three churches will cook and serve the pancake supper.
Condron believes the congregation began the tradition in the 1960s and has continued the community event every year since.
"It's been a longtime tradition," she said.
In the religious world many centuries ago, fats and eggs were forbidden for 40 days of Lent, so thrifty housewives used up supplies on hand in the days before Ash Wednesday.
But in those days, the only fattening ingredients most people had in their homes were eggs and milk, and a very simple recipe to use up those ingredients was to combine them with some flour and make pancakes.
Many families would have big feasts on Shrove Tuesday in order to consume those items that would inevitably become spoiled during the next 40 days.
The name Shrove comes from the old Middle English word "shriven," meaning to go to confession to say sorry for the wrong things they'd done. Lent always starts on a Wednesday, so people went to confessions on the day before. This became known as Shriven Tuesday and then Shrove Tuesday.
In France, the consumption of all fats and fatty foods on this day coined the name "Fat Tuesday" or Mardi Gras.
Continuing with the tradition, the Prineville congregations invite the community to the supper, which includes pancakes, ham, eggs, applesauce and syrup with juice, milk, tea or coffee.
They normally serve around 100 people and expect a similar turnout this time.
There is no charge, but a free-will offering will be accepted. Proceeds will be donated to the St. Andrew's Discretionary Fund for community outreach.
"In the past, we've supported both the men's and women's shelters or some other worthy cause," Condron said.
The supper will be held in the church basement, but for those not able to negotiate the stairs, there will be a table set up upstairs in the fellowship room.
The following evening, the three churches will hold a joint Ash Wednesday service beginning at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church.
Shrove Tuesday Community Pancake Supper
Date: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13
Place: St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 807 E. First St.
Cost: A free-will offering