September 20, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Ash Wednesday is NOT a holiday for Mardi Gras

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Colin Wilson2webThis is the third Editorial I have written on this and until the day I die I will be campaigning against the use of our Ash Wednesday for parades, loud music, dancing in our streets (in front of our Country’s oldest church) and scantily dressed young ladies partying with men getting drunk with varying degrees of public vulgarity.

The seventh Wednesday before Easter and the first day of Lent, on which many Christians receive a mark of ashes on the forehead as a token of penitence and mortality is called Ash Wednesday.

“In the typical Ash Wednesday observance, Christians are invited to the altar to receive the imposition of ashes, prior to receiving the holy Supper. The Pastor applies ashes in the shape of the cross on the forehead of each, while speaking the words, “For dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). This is of course what God spoke to Adam and Eve after they eaten of the forbidden fruit and fallen into sin. These words indicated to our first parents the bitterest fruit of their sin, namely death. In the context of the Ash Wednesday imposition of ashes, they remind each penitent of their sinfulness and mortality, and, thus, their need to repent and get right with God before it is too late. The cross reminds each penitent of the good news that through Jesus Christ crucified there is forgiveness for all sins, all guilt, and all punishment.

“Many Christians choose to leave the ashes on their forehead for the remainder of the day, not to be showy and boastful (see Matthew 6:16-18). Rather, they do it as a witness that all people are sinners in need of repentance AND that through Jesus all sins are forgiven through faith.” – By Dr. Richard P. Bucher “The History and Meaning of Ash Wednesday”.

I have nothing against Mardi Gras. I have even attended Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Mardi Gras means in English Fat Tuesday, NOT WEDNESDAY! The festival is principally carnival celebrations beginning on or after the Epiphany or King’s Day and culminating on the day BEFORE Ash Wednesday. It reflects the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

I can find no reference anywhere in the world where Mardi Gras extends into the beginning of the Lenten season. It defeats the whole meaning of the event.

The only reason the persons behind the event are doing this on Wednesday is because it is a Public Holiday here and they can make some money.

We already have our Agricultural Day and why the government has allowed this to happen in an attempt to diminish this long standing traditional government sponsored event is beyond my comprehension.

It is only recently they allowed public New Year celebrations with liquor to venture past 12 midnight when it ran into a Sunday.

What started some years ago as a small affair at Rum Point, North Side, was allowed to move to the waterfront with the dubious reason as something “for the cruise ship tourists to enjoy”.

With our Ministers Association turning a blind eye because of the sparse representation on it from the Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic church leaders, excepting St Albans, who must be likened to “the voice of one crying in the wilderness”, and none of our MLA’s practicing Christians from those denominations, one must it take to put a stop to it.

Maybe this year the organisers have gone too far?.

The organisers have made it now a three day affair culminating on Ash Wednesday with a “Mardi Gras Finale Party ‘Ash Wednesday’”!! A Fat Tuesday Party to finish on Ash Wednesday – the start of Lent!

Starting at 11am* and finishing at 11pm**. This gives the revelers an hour’s time to adorn their foreheads with ash I suppose before the hour of midnight starts.

I shall be there with my camera and giving it the publicity it deserves.

The Cayman Islands that prides itself on its religious heritage but doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of Lent and definitely doesn’t understand the meaning of Mardi Gras.

Shameful!!

Ash Wednesday is NOT a holiday designated for Mardi Gras anywhere!!!

11am* 11pm** This was taken from the Cayman Mardi Gras website front page. When you click on EVENTS it states

Mardi Gras Finale Party – Ash Wednesday

Wednesday, February 18th 2015

Wednesday, we wrap up Mardi Gras with a Street Festival starting at 10am* and going all the way until Midnight**. This Festival will be welcoming to the 6 cruise ships in port that day and will highlight Cayman Food, Music, and Culture. In the evening we will have another concert to entertain both visitors and locals. We stop at midnight as in the tradition of Mardi Gras to see out the party and welcome a new start of a new day.

As a lot of cruise ship passengers to the Caribbean are Roman Catholics I am not sure what they are going to make of all this as representing Cayman’s Culture!

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