Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mardi Gras at St. Bernard

Students at St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman were reminded of the meaning and derivation of Mardi Gras Tuesday, at a student assembly.

The Day before Ash Wednesday is called “Fat Tuesday” or Mardi Gras because, as Fr. Joel Martin, principal at the school said, “Fat Tuesday is the last day to enjoy some merriment before the austere season of Lent begins.”

This day is also referred to as “Shrove Tuesday” taken from the word “to shrive” meaning “to have sins removed and forgiven.”

Fr Joel Martin told students that on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) the palms from last year’s Palm Sunday are burned; from them come the ashes to be used the next day, traditionally called “Ash Wednesday.” These palms were burned in a small container in front of the Classroom Building during the school’s student assembly on Tuesday.

“Now the “ALLELUIA” will be retired,” Fr. Joel said. He explained the Hebrew word “Alleluia,” means “Praise toThe Lord,” and is an expression of joy that is not used during the penitential season of Lent. It is “buried” on Mardi Gras and is
“resurrected” at Easter.

The students’ Mardi Gras celebration was concluded with a performance by the St. Bernard Saints Jazz Ensemble.

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