Fasting & Prayer: The Aftermath of Mardi Gras

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Fasting & Prayer: The Aftermath of Mardi Gras

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laissez le bon temps rouler

 

Everyone, especially in Louisiana, knows this term: “Let the good times roll!” It references to the spirit of Mardi Gras, a popular holiday celebrated in Louisiana and Alabama that other states have picked up and made into their own.  The holiday has been celebrated since King Louis XIV sent the Le Moyne brothers, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville to defend France’s claim on the territory of Louisiana. The brothers brought the traditions from France to Louisiana, where festivals, parades, and balls took place as people dressed up in masks and costumes.

 

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

 

What a lot of people do not realize is that Mardi Gras, which is also known as “Fat Tuesday”, is celebrated right before the Catholics fast before Easter Sunday. It was designed for the religious group to “have one last sinful night” before fasting and praying for the Lord. It was designed as a way to repent for the sins that they have committed, and ask forgiveness.

 

The next day after Fat Tuesday is known as “Ash Wednesday”; signifying placing the repentance ashes on people’s foreheads. The ash comes from burning palm leaves from previous Palm Sunday celebrations. The ashes represent the phrases, “Repent and believe in the Gospel” as well as “Remember that you are dust, and to dust, you shall return.” Ash Wednesday is also the first day of Lent, where Christians pray a daily devotional and abstains from a luxury that they will not partake in until Easter Sunday. For example, someone might restrain from eating chocolate, or red meat.

 

Romans 12:1-2-“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

 

Now, the holiday is celebrated by many more Christians, including Methodists, Presbyterians, and some Baptists. However, more people from other Christian and non-Christian backgrounds celebrate Ash Wednesday as well, with the society making it accessible for everyone.

Restaurants are coming out with Lent menus and many companies are allowing people to take off work so they can spend the day in mass or in church service for Ash Wednesday.

 

Even though Mardi Gras is known for its fun and carefree atmosphere, it is known for so much more than just a good time. It is a celebration of life and being able to express yourself while honoring what God has done for the person in their life. Then, it is six weeks of prayer and repentance to do better and to live a life honoring God.

 

Genesis 2:7- “The the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

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  1. Deirdre Richardson Albert

    March 28, 2019

    Congratulations!