And this, of course, is the flip side of Mardi Gras — Shrove Tuesday, in places that observe the liturgical calendar originally put forth by the Catholic Church, was a time to clear your house and life of rich and good things before the penitential season of Lent. Mardi Gras and Carnival celebrations derive from this, as a last night of revelry, of getting the anarchy out of your system before buckling down to the forty days of penitence and meditation leading up to Easter.
That was yesterday; it’s now time to embark on a most spiritual journey. As I have written Ariel Sherman in my stories, she grew up on a planet with a state, conservative-Christian-oriented religion, but was never much of an adherent to it. After her soon-to-be husband freed her from the pleasure house where she had been converted into a cyborg, she adopted his Anglican-inspired faith (St. Michael’s Cathedral, Vidran, planet Videra, in the Anglican Communion of the Human Diaspora — thank you, David Weber). For Ariel and Adam, this would be Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.