Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday

Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday will fall on the same date this Wednesday for the first time since 1945, meaning Catholics and some people of other faiths may have to change their usual Valentine's Day plans. (Courtesy of FreeImages.com)Unless you’ve been married 73 years or more, Valentine’s Day will be a first this week.

That’s because it will be first time since 1945 it has shared the same day as Ash Wednesday.

Will this impact the way you celebrate Ash Wednesday as a Christian? Will you have to abstain from meat and choose a vegetarian dish for the Valentine’s supper? Will it be your excuse for not bringing your loved one chocolates?

The Catholic Church has very clear rules for Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and Lent. Able-bodied Catholics are supposed to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by not eating meat and by limiting themselves to one main meal and two small meals.

For Lutherans, fasting and abstinence from meat is voluntary. What will happen at Trinity ELC is that we will have a worship service tomorrow evening at 7 pm. During this service we will invite people to have the sign of the cross placed on their foreheads using ashes. In addition, we will be to celebrating Holy Communion, the Sacrament expressing God’s sacrificial love in Christ.

This is the connection between these two holidays. Valentine’s Day is all about love, and the beginning of Lent is also about God expressing his sacrificial love for us.

I hope you will join us for this day of love since it will be great practice for when Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day share the same date again in 2024 and 2029.

– Pastor Tim