procession will of necessity pass by a restaurant
whose specialty is pancakes, flapjacks, or crepes.
Extraordinary means are not to be taken to avoid this
situation, unless a detour would add dignity and not
unreasonable length to the route. Traditional
ceremonies are to be observed while passing before
such an establishment.
Following the Shrove Tuesday Solemn High Choral Sung
Mass, the solemn procession forms at the head of the
aisle, and the sacred ministers are supplied with
their birettas. The celebrant also receives a large
platter of steaming-hot buttermilk pancakes; the
deacon and subdeacon take up large pitchers of maple
syrup. Acolytes with large forks and spatulas attend
the sacred ministers. Following the deacon's versicle
and the people's response, the thurifer leads the
procession through the nave and narthex and out to the
The choir accompany the procession with appropriate
antiphons, responsories, and plainsong hymns, such as
the Corpus Christi introit, Cibavit eos: "He fed them
also with the finest wheat flour, and with honey from
The thurifer with his censer will lead the solemn
outdoor procession. Two bacon strips are draped over
the thurible. When the restaurant is sighted by the
verger, he shall signal to the acolyte, who shall ring
the bell thrice. The procession shall continue, but
the serving of pancakes shall cease until the
restaurant has been passed by. On hearing the bell,
the clergy and lay ministers in procession shall turn
their heads so as to face the establishment directly
whilst they continue forward. Upon a single stroke of
the bell, all shall stop and turn to face the
restaurant. The sacred ministers shall remove their
birettas, taking care not to drop the syrup pitcher as
they do so. The sacred ministers shall then
double-genuflect, first bringing the right knee to the
ground and then the left knee to join the right one on
the ground. The celebrant shall then incense the
restaurant with three double swings. All others shall
bow low. The celebrant shall chant the collect for
Shrove Tuesday. This completed, all shall rise, and
the celebrant shall cover with the biretta and resume
the pitcher. A single stroke of the bell shall signal
the resumption of the procession, all resuming
After the station at the restaurant, the procession
turns left, encircling the Unitarian-Universalist
Church next door, as a gesture of hospitality and
ecumenism. Traditionally, the UU minister joins the
procession dressed in a simple cassock-alb and bearing
a large bowl of flower petals gathered by UU
parishioners; these are added to the pancake plates as
a lovely garnish and a reminder of the oneness of
creation with Creator. (A secondary but salutary
effect of the procession in the early years was the
reconciliation of the neighboring Episcopal and UU
churches following the previous year's Trinity Sunday
outdoor solemn procession, which had encircled the UU
church three times to the increasing outrage of the UU
minister and congregation.)
The procession moves south from the UU church down
past the rectory, where a station is made and the
antiphon Sacerdotes Domini chanted.
Finally, having given up the pancake-serving utensils,
the sacred ministers, vergers, acolytes, and servers
proceed to the church and all enter for the Solemn Te
Deum and Benediction. After Solemn Benediction of the
Blessed Sacrament, pancakes are served in the church hall.
Bishop Chamber used to simply throw a nice party which would end with Crepes Suzette. Very much more elegant.
That's my kind of ritual!
I humbly claim authorship of the Pancake Procession story. Would you believe the parish in the story got phone calls asking about it (eventually I was asked to "remove it from the Internet," as if that's possible)? Some online commenters expressed appreciation for the wonderful outreach to the students. :) The story was picked up by NPR a few years ago, when Science Friday phoned the senior warden of the parish on the air to ask about the parish's Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, but really to slip in a question to find out whether the big pancake procession was real. For the record, it isn't! I had just been spending too much time perusing Ritual Notes and Fortescue. I think I had a dream about a similar procession, too, so that may have figured into it.
Oh my goodness. That's funny
Since St. Stephen's has a UU church immediately next door, I find this piece very practical and helpful!
By the way, shouldn't the restaurant receive a triple single, rather than a triple double?
For a UU "church" there is another sort of procession. March around it for six days, and on the seventh day march around it seven times, and then everyone shout at the sound of the trumpet.
It's worked before.
Anyway, that's my brand of ecumenism where they are concerned.
Actually, Father Hart, that's my brand of ecumenism where almost everyone is concerned!
Now, now Fr. The DOS used to have camp at a UU place in the mountains. Lovely site and they were very friendly. We did have one instance where Fr. Nick had to give the kids a bit of a lecture on how to behave when the guy who wore skirts (no, they were NOT kilts) was on duty in the kitchen.
I hate to dumb down these sort of things ... but needs must ... in our somewhat reduced circumstances and lack of manpower I usually look at the sections in Ritual Notes that begin with something like "In smaller Churches ..." or under the sub title "In simple form". Any useful suggestions? Perhaps one of the modern Church Supply Houses might come up with an appropriately adapted thurible stand for "large forks and spatulas". I fear that unless an adapted rite is introduced the faithful in smaller parishes might never experience the deep joy of a solemn pancake
Are you sure this pancake supper wasn't held at Saint Alfonzo's parish?
I have some questions:
Were any sausage patties abused here? I'd like to know if the margereene has been accounted for.
The solemn Pancake Procession must be one of those rich Anglican treasures that former Anglicans will be allowed to continue under that new Roman constitution.
Well under the AC they will be allowed to keep this fine tradition, but in an altered form of either:
Ova spongia ex lacte (Pancakes with Milk) is a traditional Ancient Roman recipe for pancakes served with honey and black pepper.
Tagenitai (Pancakes) is a traditional Ancient Roman recipe for a snack of yeasted pancakes fried in olive oil.
Bishop Mead wrote:
"I hate to dumb down these sort of things ... but needs must ... in our somewhat reduced circumstances and lack of manpower I usually look at the sections in Ritual Notes that begin with something like "In smaller Churches ..." or under the sub title "In simple form". Any useful suggestions? Perhaps one of the modern Church Supply Houses might come up with an appropriately adapted thurible stand for "large forks and spatulas". I fear that unless an adapted rite is introduced the faithful in smaller parishes might never experience the deep joy of a solemn pancake
Coming from a parish for which "Ritual Notes" and Fortescue are the norm and standard for public worship, we have often thought of producing an appendix.
This topic could be included, and in addition:
1) Appropriate response when the entire contents of the thurible are inadvertently dumped on the carpet before the High Altar at the censing at the Offertory (the lid of the Thurible was stuck)
(dust pan and broom quickly appeared from the Sacristy, carpet burns remain as a memorial to the event.)
2) Method for quickly responding when the tabernacle door is opened for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and it is suddenly realized that the luna has not been refilled since Holy Week.
(place a small host from ciborium in the luna)
3) Response when visiting priest who does not normally wear a maniple, insists upon trying one and knocks hosts from corporal to floor (prior to Consecration, thank goodness)
4) Response when torch bearer in entrance procession in Solemn Mass according to the Sarum Use (wearing albs) somehow walks out of his cincture after it slowly lowered itself from his waist.
With a large Sanctuary party, from a diverse background, one must be ready for surprises!
Perhaps one of the modern Church Supply Houses might come up with an appropriately adapted thurible stand for "large forks and spatulas".
They have. The going rate is a mere $300,000.00 for the good one and a mere $2,500.00 for the cheap one.
I notified a friend of this and received the following in response:
A Few of My Favourite Things
(in honour of Shrove Tuesday)
Sackcloth and ashes,
and days without eating,
Mortification and wailing and weeping,
A hair shirt that scratches,
a nettle that stings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Penitence, flagellants, memento mori,
Spending nights sleeping on rocks in a quarry,
The sound of a cloak'd solemn cantor who sings,
These are still more of my favorite things.
Tossing and turning and yearning I'm spurning,
Passions aflame like an ember day burning,
Corpus and carnis and wild drunken flings,
Forsaken are they for my favorite things!
When it's Christmas,
When the tree's lit,
When the cards are sent,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I can't wa-a-a-a-it till Lent.
Ha. Anonymous, I hadn't thought of the Zappalogical angle before. Nice one.
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