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Near-record spending expected this Valentine's Day

14 February 2018

Ironically, it's just the opposite of Valentine's Day spirit - where you are expected to have a good time with your loved ones.

Cupid's arrows will share a day with ashy crosses this week as Christians across the nation find a way to commingle Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday.

"The answer is that Ash Wednesday has precedence, and the coincidence of St. Valentine's Day would not lift for us the duty of fasting and self-denial", Dolan said on his blog.

The Catholic Church also requires abstinence from meat on the other Fridays of Lent.

The two celebrations coinciding on February 14, 2018, has generated discussions by people on the propriety to celebrate Valentine's Day in the usual way or not.

Since Easter is a moveable feast, so is Ash Wednesday, and thus the last day of Carnival.

His advice to Catholics for this Valentine's Day Ash Wednesday: send cards or flowers; maybe indulge in one piece of candy; and avoid meat.

"This year, our congregation (Emmanuel Reformed) has thought about trying some things we haven't done before, drawing on what Christians have done for 2,000 years", Hedden said. "Even if our failures and faults dirtied our souls, with the retracing of the cross on our foreheads, Jesus reminds us we can rebuild our lives, be reconciled with the Father, and be redeemed by Jesus Himself", Santos said. In view of the significance of Ash Wednesday, the obligations of fast and abstinence are naturally the priority in the Catholic community. Anglicans, some Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics celebrate Lent and Ash Wednesday.

Brydon said he's looking forward to the spontaneity of what the day will bring because people have certain expectations when it comes to a church service.

Fr. Lugger continues that "fasting can be any of the 40 days during Lent".

"Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are an excellent Valentine's Day dinner", Borgmeyer said with a laugh.

"In the UCC, we have a lot of members who were raised Catholic, so we draw on a lot of different sources for our (Lenten) traditions", said the Rev. Steve Craft, pastor of First Reformed UCC in downtown Greensburg. It is encouraged throughout the year to make this a [regular] thing in a person's life; to deeply take a look at your faith to see if you are actively being faithful and have a relationship with God and Jesus. In another quirk this year, Easter also happens to share the date - April 1 - with April Fools' Day.

"Many people have been turned off by religion for one reason or another and some don't feel comfortable going into a church, so we believe that Ashes to Go might give people an outlet to connect with God an unconventional way", Fetz said.

The Lent period reflects when Jesus fasted and suffered in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, before he started his ministry.

Near-record spending expected this Valentine's Day