The rare colliding of two holidays has many Catholic Priests arguing to delay Valentine’s Day.
You may want to cancel that meal reservation. Champagne and chocolate? Maybe not. Today marks the celebration of romance, Valentine’s Day. But it also marks Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent, a period of penitence and fasting for Catholics and others who worship this time.
This is the first time this has happened since 1945. During Ash Wednesday fasting and abstinence are required. There is an irony here because day also marked the end of “National Marriage Week” for the Catholic Church as well. This is not the only odd coincidence. Lent ends with Easter Sunday, which falls on April 1st, also known as April Fool’s Day.
Catholic officials have stated that Lent takes precedence over any romantic celebrations. While some church officials have stated there is no tension between Lent and celebrations of joy, the official message is to save the chocolates and food until Sunday.
On Lent, Catholics are supposed to only have 1 regular meal and 2 smaller meals that do not exceed the normal meal. It is called Ash Wednesday because Catholics have the sign of the cross put on their foreheads in ash to symbolize mortality as a sign of humility before God.
While last year the Catholic Church seemed to be ok with parishioners eating corned beef and cabbage during St. Patrick’s Day, which fell on Lent Friday, they have stated that Ash Wednesday is more important than Lent Friday.