Christians planning to observe Ash Wednesday might want to pencil in their Valentine's indulgences today. Sundays are holy celebrations of Jesus' resurrection, and are not counted as part of the 40 days of Lent.
More than a change in habits, Lent calls Christians to a radical and lasting turning of hearts - a conversion.
On March 25, Christians will be observing Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus' entry to Jerusalem, wherein the people covered the path with palm leaves for the donkey Jesus was riding to walk on.
Most Americans view Valentine's Day as a secular holiday, according to The New York Times, filled with frivolous spending.
Ash Wednesday is the day of unity and humility.
Steven Samaniego, a worker for the Upward Bound Program, also thinks it is great that the service is being held during the daytime.
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On the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the Fasching, or Carnival season, ends with the ritual "burial" of a double bass, drum, or other musical instrument. This is because the Easter holiday date is determined by the lunar calendar, which is exclusively based on the phases of the moon. The excitement is less focused on the conversations I have with others and more so on the conversation I have with myself - 'What am I going to give up this year?
The tradition of Ash Wednesday originated around the eighth century and goes back to the Hebrew Torah, when the Lord established an annual day of repentance for the Israelites where each humbled him/herself through fasting and prayer.
Lent is a period of approximately six weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter observed by most Christian denominations. For Christians within this period prayer, fasting and alms giving obligation are performed.
Another thing that people are really upset about with Ash Wednesday being Valentine's Day is that they do not get to go out for a nice steak dinner because Catholics are not supposed to eat meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during the 40 days of Lent.
Now, in our culture where most of us consume more than we need, the custom of self-denial can be helpful.
Decorating eggs is a common activity, as are Easter egg hunts on Easter morning.
Religious leaders across the country shared their thoughts on what believers should do for the double holiday.