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With Shrove Tuesday celebrations Christians prepare to remember their savior

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With the season of Lent set to start Wednesday, Christians are getting ready for fasting by – in the words of St. John’s Episcopal Church Reverend Michael A. O’Donnell – partying hardy.

“The whole idea was to be able to celebrate before you go into Lent, which required fasting,” the Rev. Mr. O’Donnell said of Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday.

“Shrove” is a derivative of the Old English word for forgiveness.

Today there are several area churches holding pancake dinners to mark Fat Tuesday.

The Rev. Mr. O’Donnell said pancake dinners are a Shrove Tuesday tradition because it allowed people to use up lard in their pantries before fasting began.

“This would be the time that you party hardy before you go into this introspective, self-examining time,” the Rev. Mr. O’Donnell said.

Lent includes the 40 weekdays prior to Easter Sunday, the day when Christians believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

The season of fasting and remembrance begins with Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday, where “you remind yourself of the temporal nature of things, including yourself,” by putting ash on your forehead, the Rev. Mr. O’Donnell said.

He said the ash represents the fleeting nature of life, and is meant to direct the believer’s thoughts towards God, who is eternal.

At St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Rev. Mr. O’Donnell said, there will be a pancake and sausage dinner today from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the parish hall. All are welcome.

The free dinner will have a Mardi Gras theme, the Rev. Mr. O’Donnell said, to make for a party-like atmosphere. A free-will donation will be accepted.

Also at 5 p.m. the Knights of Columbus, 721 Hasbrouck St., will host a free dinner for Notre Dame Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral parishioners.

The meal will be a French-style dinner, and people are encroached to bring a dish to pass, Diocese of Ogdensburg Director of Communications Sister Jennifer Votraw said.

Other Shrove Tuesday meals include:

The DeKalb Junction United Methodist Church is hosting a pancake dinner at 5 p.m. that is free and open to the public.

The Ogdensburg Methodist Church is hosting a free, public pancake supper at 5 p.m.

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