So we may very well see people walking around next week Wednesday with ashes pon dem forehead and a bouquet of roses or a box of chocolate inna dem hand. The ashes are christened with holy water and symbolize penance and contrition.
But today the timing of St Valentine's Day risks posing a distraction for Catholics from prayer and repentance.
St. Francis also invites visitors to join members for Ash Wednesday services on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at noon and 6 p.m. Information about other Lenten services will be available on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, including Sunday evening pizza followed by a short contemplative service, Wednesday soup suppers followed by Stations of the Cross, and Thursday evening "Walk the Labyrinth" personal meditation.
Christians will observe Ash Wednesday on February 14, signaling the period of 40 days before Easter, called Lent, when Jesus Christ journied into the desert praying and fasting after he was baptized.
When Dewane was asked what he planned to give up for Lent, the bishop replied: "Well, in Wisconsin, where I am from, we don't drink beer!" Catholics would similarly profit from using Lent to jump-start the plan to form the habits that lead to virtue and ultimately to the eternal "Hall of Fame".
Still, gents, Ash Wednesday, doesn't mean you get a pass.
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Unlike Christmas, Easter and every Sunday of the year, Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation. They will hear a 15 to 20 minute presentation by Xyta Lucas and then take a private tour of the museum for about an hour. It is actually a day to be liturgically reminded of the fantastic and awesome love of God! "Well, maybe they don't think anyone cares about them", she said.
Catholic bishops from different parts of the world have had to issue statements on how they hope their congregations will conduct themselves on Valentine's Day. In local shops and online, a significant proportion of Valentine's cards are so crude and salacious that even Russell Brand would blush when browsing.
The Rev. Stephen Bird, pastor of Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church, said he wasn't surprised that most Catholic bishops aren't granting special dispensation for Ash Wednesday.
"Quite honestly, the day before is Mardi Gras, so there can always be some festivities on Mardi Gras", Schlert said.
For 2018, the leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have collaborated to create a set of ecumenical Lenten devotions called Set Free By Truth.
"I haven't actually talked to anyone who has done more than remarked at the odd circumstance of Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday".
"In Lent, we can break down these walls that keep us tied down".
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Fasting helps us to say No to the devil's temptations to prioritize our stomachs over our souls.
The church focuses more on the season of Lent and abstaining from something during that time.
There is a sort of irony surrounding the fact that Ash Wednesday clashes with Valentine's Day. During these 40 days, we unite our hearts with Christ in His passion, death and resurrection by renewing our baptismal promises. Through these practices, we can live a joyful life dedicated to God and to others. A handful asserted that Valentine's was too commercial so they were ignoring it anyway, while a good portion said they would simply celebrate on another day.
Speaking in a chat with INDEPENDENT Believing, the state's Chairman of CAN, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola stated that: "The origin of the celebration of valentine is from a goddess you can go and find out".
"It's a day of fasting, and that hasn't changed, " said Kira Ciupek, communications director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee.
Rather than honor a pagan goddess, they encouraged people to select any Christian saint to emulate for one year.
I insist that there is Lent in Valentine!
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Those wishing to participate will receive a sign of the cross in ashes on their forehead and a brief prayer.
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