Abracadabra, Venerable Jaroslaw Adamcijan offered the faithful the possibility of breaking 12 snakes in half just hours after introducing a new Shrove Tuesday sacrifice, known as the Plan B of the centuries-old celebration of St. Pancras Day.
“It’s a difficult time, and all 12 has a sharp and very particular bite,” the priest said of the 12-hour operation in Poland.
Rounds of the feast have traditionally been sacrificed to the dogs of the Devil at St. Pancras Church in Keirwich, England. But parishioners at St. Pancras have been urged to consider alternatives after a recent stabbing of a pilgrim, “which raised fears over the impending feast,” parishioner Ian Harper said.
For some Brits, the increased fear of the approaching St. Pancras Day has been disastrous. “We haven’t said it outright yet, but at this moment in time we don’t intend to worship,” said one.
Volunteers and priests spent Wednesday gathering the teeth, shells, and bones to be placed in coffins and sedated for each ceremony. Each bone sacrifice is to honor a holy person who performed Jesus’ miracle of multiplying loaves and fishes.
“In 600 years that thing has been going, we have never seen anything like this,” said Diocesan spokesman Gareth Davis, who has seen both demon–infested skulls and snake bites in his time. “We’ve brought in trained vets to combat this new phenomenon.”
“In the past, we’ve always been fighting a battle against demons. Now, demons are battling us, and they’re bringing in [serpent] meat from Delphi and gin from the hedgerows of Britain,” Davis said.
After a few months, the teeth will be weighed to determine whether the sacrifice will cost the devil the witch of Omicron, or the serpent of Dracula.
Religious leaders and volunteers worry that the fear of the Devil has now become so excessive that they won’t be able to preach their Christian doctrine at a vigil. “Whatever it is that people are fighting against is not done out of malice or spite, but out of necessity,” said Rev. Priest Graham Newsham. “God doesn’t say, ‘Just let the devil win, boys.’”