Archbishop Gomez to deliver Lenten message at Ash Wednesday Mass

New York City 2001. Credit Greg Miller

This year, Valentine's Day coincides with Ash Wednesday. If you dedicate a part evening after office to them, you can still have a great Valentine's Day. "It's not the kind of day when we would give a dispensation". The Catholic Church and a few other Christian denominations observe the occasion in fasting, abstinence, and prayer.

Standing on Main Street with the temperature in the low 30s, Feltz said "We are here today because some people can not make it to church".

Those unfamiliar with Lent may be curious about the ash cross marked on foreheads of Christians participating in Ash Wednesday. Since then many Episcopal churches across the country have joined in to offer Ashes to Go, particularly at key commuter lines.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 is both Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day.

As for Easter falling on April Fool's Day, Fr. Lugger says a scripture teacher in seminary speculated that the original Easter Sunday may have happened on April Fool's Day, and that Jesus "fooled the world" by rising from the dead. Of course, before Ash Wednesday comes Fat Tuesday.

During Lent, many believers give up something they love, such as eating chocolates or other candies, as a way of replicating Christ's journey into the desert for 40 days.

Another food commonly eaten during Lent is empanadas de vigilia.

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The other day Catholics are asked to fast is on Good Friday, while they're asked to abstain from eating meat every Friday during Lent.

"We have to reflect on life and think deeply about our relationship with Jesus, where we've been, and where we're going", said Father John Girotti of the Diocese of Green Bay.

However Christians only fast for 40 days, as the six Sundays leading up to Easter Sunday are not included.

This year, Lent ends March 29.

"Ash Wednesday and Lent reminds us of our need for God and through the external practices of prayer, almsgiving and fasting, we are invited to reach beyond ourselves and place the needs of others before our own".

However, this year, coinciding with the beginning of Lent is Valentine's Day, traditionally a day of excess, when gifts of flowers and candy are lavished upon those special people in our lives. What am I going to gain by doing so?' This year I've made a decision to give up more of my time.

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