Of King Cakes And Christian Liberty

Lost amid the ashes and sausages, King cakes and shrove pancakes — can’t forget about the pancakes — is Zwingli’s deeper concern about the nature of Christian sanctification. As a cradle Catholic who’s done the ashes, and a former evangelical whose fasted to the point of fainting, at this point in my life I find myself increasingly concerned that Lenten abstinence, obligatory or not, can in fact be bad for one’s soul.

—Brian Lee, “Repent of Lent

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  1. I’ve never come across King cakes except in connection with burning and Alfred The Great. Please explain.

  2. Well, since the 2nd world war the concept seems to have left the UK alone. We knew all about pancakes and the extreme difficulty of tossing thereof, but your post is the first I heard of King cakes. Possibly because the only people settled in the UK when I was a younger man who would have them were Greeks, they call it something in Greek, and Christmas time is the time when most Greek families like to invite their guests, rather than Epiphany to Shrove Tuesday (We didn’t grow up calling it Mardi Gras).

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