As the last day before Lent, traditionally this day is one of celebration and festivity. The words ‘Mardi Gras’ translate as ‘Fat Tuesday’. It was the custom on this day for Christians to eat as much fat as possible before the fasting and abstinence of Lent. In some countries, street parades and parties are also held on this day. In Australia, it is common to eat pancakes or doughnuts. Before you tuck into your sweet treats, say the Mardi Gras prayer together.


  • Candle
  • Pancakes, doughnuts or other sweet treats.
  • Streamers or Ribbons (one for each person) with words like ‘Alleluia’, ‘Joy’, ‘Hope’, ‘God is Great’, ‘Praise Him!’ written on them. See Praise Flag Activity.

[Light the candle and make the sign of the cross together]

All: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Leader: Today is Mardi Gras – a day to celebrate and give thanks for all the good things in our lives. We each take a streamer to express our joy and gratitude.

[each person takes a streamer.]

Reader 1: We give thanks for all creation – for the beauty of the world, for sunrises and sunsets, for trees and flowers, for birds and insects, animals and fish.

All: Alleluia! Praise God! Alleluia!
[wave or hold up your streamers.]

Reader 2: We give thanks for all our family and all those who we love.
[name some of the people you love.]

All: Alleluia! Praise God! Alleluia!
[wave or hold up your streamers.]

Reader 3: We give thanks for our faith, for the mystery of God’s love, for Jesus who came to save us, for the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

All: Alleluia! Praise God! Alleluia!
[wave or hold up your streamers]

[You can add other prayers of praise and thanks if you like.]

Leader: And we give you thanks, Lord, for the food we are about to eat.

All: We praise you, we thank you, we bless you.

Leader: Let us say together the closing prayer taken from the Mass.

All: Through Him, with Him, in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever, Amen.

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What are your Mardi Gras traditions? Does your city have a great big celebration or is it a little more low key? Do you have any good memories of pancakes and sweets from Mardi Gras? Tell us in the comments below.