St. Matthew’s Fastnacht Fun is Sunday, February 19th starting at 3:30pm with a potluck dinner, games for everyone (adults and children), and then add in a little line dancing and of course singing. Our theme this year is Mardi Gras. We will wrap up around 6pm. We hope you’ll join us, so please save the date! Sign up below to attend and contribute something to share.
You might be thinking “What is Fastnacht and why do we celebrate it at St. Matthew’s?” The short answer is that Fastnacht is a chance to celebrate with eating and/or acting silly on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins in our church year. It has many names: Shrovetide, Carnival, Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday. Doug Baumgardt has prepared a more detailed description of Fastnacht Traditions and there is a link to his article below.
How does this silliness tie into Lent? Doug explains in his article: During Lent, we will think about the great gift of grace that we receive from God through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The whole story may seem kind of crazy by worldly standards. The Christmas, Lenten, Easter story describes how God lowered himself to earth as a human person in Jesus, and then gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Everything is inverted in this story, the weak become strong, the meek and lowly are raised, and all of us sinners are made clean through Jesus’ action. So Fastnacht celebrations, as crazy as they are, may be a kind of illustration of these ideas in a literal form. Everything is inverted, serious people act silly, children act like adults, adults act like children, and everyone in the community joins together to have fun and celebrate diversity along with remembering our Christian faith.