Have you got any shroves?

Do you know where to get some shroves? It seems they are quite hard to obtain nowadays. Even our customer caring supermarkets don’t have them on sale. Chocolate E**ster eggs, Hot cross (shouldn’t that be crossed?) buns, chocolate festive rabbits have all been there for ages – but no shroves.

I heard a rumour (but didn’t believe it) that some churches have shrove processions. They gather up all the shroves and put them in a paper bag and burn them. Seems a waste.

Actually I have never seen a shrove, but it would be good to get some for Shrove Tuesday. Otherwise all we will have are pancakes. Mind you the pancakes at our church are very good. Or at least the fillings are. Can you fill a pancake? You can cover it, swamp it, drown it, I suppose. Get your fingers, face, shirt all covered with yummy runny… what do you prefer on your pancakes? Sweet sickly treacly honey? Spicy scary chilli mince? Warm watery fishy dishes?

So many yummy things. And all being eaten on Shrove Tuesday as though there was never going to be any more. Maybe the shroves have got something to do with the pancakes. After all Shrove Tuesday is also called Pancake Tuesday. In French it is called Fat Tuesday (or it would be if the French spoke English).

I think perhaps shroves must be the kind of things you use to make pancakes. Fat, butter, eggs, sugar, flour. In the olden days people used up all their shroves so that after Pancake Tuesday there were no shroves left. It’s as though they wanted to clean out their pantry. One reason of course is they weren’t allowed to eat any of this kind of food until Easter.

It was a very serious time. I think they took their Christianity very seriously. Cleaning out their pantry and not eating the yummy food for a while was a kind of pretend game. But there was another non-pretend game being played inside their hearts. What they really wanted to do was have their hearts cleaned out.

Maybe that’s what a shrove is. Maybe it’s the stuff that gets cleaned out of your heart. If so it’s no wonder you can’t buy any at the supermarket (who would want to buy it?). Cleaning out the pantry and making pancakes needs a good cook. Cleaning out the heart needs a Saviour.

Dale Appleby

About Dale Appleby

Dale Appleby is a graduate of Moore College, served in parishes in Perth, Northern Territory and Jakarta. Presently the minister at Willetton, in the suburbs of Perth. Married to Joy with four kids and seven grand-kids (at last count).
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