Much information for you this week on the music corner: Mardi Gras Sunday explained, Carolyn and Dave Soyars in worship, Christmas CD’s and DVD’s available for all, click here for all the info…
For your calendar:
March 3 – Mardi Gras Sunday
March 6 – Ash Wednesday
March 10 – Lent Taize Sunday
This weekend, come to hear the wonderful music of Carolyn and Dave Soyars, who will bring a poignant and soulful rendition of “None of Us Are Free.” Don’t miss it!
And, if you liked our 2019 Christmas Concerts, you have the opportunity to obtain a DVD or CD, just in time for Lent! Please call the office and leave your name and info, requesting a copy. Suggested donations are $10 DVD’s and $5 CD’s, which will support our music program.
Now, to the meat of the article, why do we celebrate Mardi Gras Sunday?
To be honest, this is not necessarily a liturgical calendar activity prescribed in the Methodist lectionary; it is, however, a Christian tradition that dates back many years. Check out this quick Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrove_Tuesday
Although Mardi Gras is nowadays most well known as a day of debauchery tied to massive Carnivals such as the ones at New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, Venice and many others, the Christian appropriation of the day has much deeper significance that goes beyond eating and drinking excessively. We empty out our pantries, we eliminate fleshly sustenance, we become vulnerable by fasting and open to a season of penitence and introspection, we seek out spiritual nourishment rather than material fulfilment: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
For us at CUMC, in more practical terms, Mardi Gras Sunday is a liturgical calendar marker. We rejoice and celebrate our fellowship together with great joy and thankfulness; but alas, we empty out the very last exuberant praise from our liturgical pantry in order to enter a fasting season, a sequence of liturgies in a more reflective tone that leads to Holy Week, the Passion of the Christ, and the final victory of Easter Day.
Our hope is that, as we become more familiar with these traditions/celebrations/high holidays, we may be able to extract a deeper understanding of the seasons and thus a richer, all-year round worship experience.
Come and join us this upcoming Mardi Gras Sunday, empty out your loudest, most joyous praises, rejoice with the children of God, don’t leave anything in store. Empty, then, join us in the brokenness of Lent, seeking nothing but the Christ, that we may never thirst again!