Mardi Gras for the UU

02-13-18 All day

Enjoy your Fat Tuesday!

Be safe and have fun! Associated with Shrovetide celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. In countries such as England, Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday, which is derived from the word shrive, meaning “confess”.

Rev. Melanie Morel-Ensminger’s Mediatation (UU minister – New Orleans)

Spirit of life and love
We feel your presence here
As we celebrate with enthusiasm Fat Tuesday.
We do not see the House of God as a House of Sorrow (*)
A place to whisper faintly and
sadly walk in black with long-drawn faces
between empty walls lined with a few flickering flames.

Yes, there is much grief and sorrow in this world
Yes, we are a stiff-necked people
who forget the sacred and the holy
Yes, we lead busy lives
today preoccupied with falling housing prices
and choosing our Presidential primary candidate.
Yes, we often turn away
and neglect the hollowness in our heart,
Lusting after the illusion of future satisfaction.

Ash Wednesday will arrive soon enough
a reminder of the value of humility, remorse
and the spirit of communion.

These days of celebration before Ash Wednesday
Have a different purpose
Today, we feast on the abundance of life
The delight of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching
In a celebration that unites
the diversity of all races, classes and faiths
at the common table of fellowship

Let us prepare
by enjoying the fullness of today.
Let us feel deeply
our gratitude for the abundance we enjoy right now;

Even as we prepare to reflect on the poverty of others,
the poverty in our own heart
and hear the cry of the poor on our doorstep,
Let our experience of fullness
inspire the offering of gifts and commitments
of greater generosity that feed our heart and spirit.

So may the beads and treats,
the music and song,
the colors and the costumes,
the masks and the surprises,
the pomp and parades,
awake in us an appreciation of
the gracious gifts of being alive today,
gifts we did not earn, buy, steal, own or create.
May the appreciation of these gifts expand our hearts
and make room for more light, more love, and more hope
to strengthen us for the spiritual journey ahead.

(*) borrowed from TS Eliot’s poetry