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Pastor’s Column: Pancake Race

It is nearly time for the International Pancake Day festivities held on the Shrove Tuesday (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) in Liberal Ks. It is the day of the international pancake race between Olney England and Liberal Kansas. I am always interested in this race as we lived in Liberal for most of a decade and I even participated in the race during our tenure there. I am not much of a runner and will not run for fun again in my lifetime, but the excitement of participation in this event could not hold me back. The day in Liberal is full of fun for everyone.

The race is a 600-year tradition in England. It began when a woman trying to use the last of her cooking fat before Lent, heard the church bell ring and ran from the stove to the church still clad in apron and headscarf flipping a pancake in her skillet. Liberal joined the race in 1950. The ladies run 415 yards along brick and cobble stone streets to church. In Liberal the race finishes outside of United Methodist Church as the Shriving service begins. The shriving service is a time of confession and repentance in preparation for Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday.

The story of Shrove Tuesday and the pancake race is not as familiar to us as Marti Gras, but the sentiment is the same. Fat Tuesday celebrations offer the last chance to finish the foods one would not use in many strict religious Lenten observances. It has become a time wild parties and celebrations sort of like me eating all the candy and baked goods in the house so I can start eating healthy next week. (Maybe I am the only one who does that.)To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition

Dickinson County News-Times

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