Today is Shrove Tuesday. Shrove is the past tense of “shrive” which is to be absolved from sin. Traditionally on this day, people went to the priest to confess their sins and would be given a penitence which they would keep for Lent. Also on this day it was traditional in England to consume pancakes in order to use up the lard (the last of the meat) in the house as well as the last of the eggs and milk so as to fast from milk and dairy products during Lent. The same idea is held in the term Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday) reflecting that all the fat (lard) was to be finished off this day. Carnival in Portugues and Spanish reflects the same idea, as “carne” is meat, and Carnival was the time to finish off the meat.
Unfortunately, in many times and cultures Mardi Gras or Carnival instead of reflecting the religious nature has become a time of doing everything that one would not do in Lent, and has often become a time of drunken revelry.
Tonight we will have our Shrove Tuesday Service, in which we all confess our sins to one another, and is a time we concentrate on our individual responsibility. Tomorrow at the 6:00 AM Ash Wednesday Service, we will be confessing our corporate sins as a community and church.
Collect: : Lord, grant that we should make such a true confession, that we would truly walk in love and peace with one another that the light of Yeshua would truly shine through us. This we ask through Yeshua haMoshiach who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Chad and his brother Cedd were students of St. Aiden at Lindisfarne, where he became acquainted with Celtic Spirituality. Two other brothers were also active in the Anglo-Saxon church. Before being ordained as a priest, he traveled to Ireland with St. Egbert to study there. Apparently the custom was not to ordain to the priesthood until about thirty years old, being the age at which Christ began his ministry.
Chad and his brothers were very influenced by Celtic Spirituality which emphasized austerity, Biblical exegesis, and led to a consciousness and focus on the end times.
We find Chad taking his brother Cedd’s place as abbot at Lastingham after Cedd died in the plague, in 663.
Whenever a gale would spring up, Chad would call on God to have pity on humanity. If it intensified he would prostrate himself in prayer, and if it grew worse go to the chapel and sing psalms till the storm abated. When asked by his companions, he explained that storms were sent by God to remind humans of the day of judgment and to humble their pride.
Chad was selected Bishop of York (and Northumbria) by king Oswiu. He had to travel to Wessex where he was ordained by the Bishop of Wessex and two Welsh bishops (as the plague had decimated the number of Bishops, and three Bishops were required for ordination.
Chad was faithful in his call traveling to all the towns and villages, baptizing and confirming, following the Celtic role of Bishop as prophet and missionary. As the king had appointed two bishops for York, and the first one had finally returned, Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury asked Chad to step down, which he did. Surprised by Chad’s humility, Archbishop Theodore had Chad consecrated as Bishop of the Mercia. Land was donated for the monastery of Lichtfield, and Chad took up residence, and began his work as Bishop in similar vein to before, confirming baptizing, and guiding the people. Chad refused to ride horseback, as Jesus had not done so. He has a dispute with Archbishop Theodore over this who manually lifted him into the saddle. Chad died March 2, 672 after encouraging his monks to persevere.
For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chad_of_MerciaPsalm 95:1-7
Use Lessons at Matins and Vespers
Collect: Dear Lord who raised up Chad to be Bishop of Lichtfield, and gave him humility to cheerfully to relinquish his honours. Grant in this and every generation that we would seek only your honour and glory. This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach, who livers and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen.