Some food for thought as Velentine's Day and Lent collide

A romantically religious dilemma!

Brenda's Bites
February 15, 2018 - 8:12 am

What are the odds that Valentine’s Day would fall on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent?

Pretty rare, as it turns out. The two significant dates actually happen simultaneously on Wednesday, the 14th, this year, the first time it’s happened since 1945!

For Catholics like me who abstain from meat (truth be told, I pretty much stay away from red meat most days), the dinner celebrating Valentine’s Day may be a bit of a challenge.

We traditionally forgo meat and limit our food intake on Ash Wednesday as part of the religious observance. Feasting and celebrating aren’t viewed as appropriate, hence the indulgences of “Fat Tuesday.”

 So, what kind of dilemma does this present for not only folks who want to indulge in a multicourse romantic meal and what challenge does it present for restaurant owners, who usually have packed dining rooms on Valentine’s Day?

Some religious leaders I’ve seen weigh in online have suggested enjoying Fat Tuesday but observe the abstinence of Ash Wednesday despite the fact that it coincides with Valentine’s Day.

Here’s the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone’s take:

“Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the only two days of the whole year on which fasting and abstinence are required,” Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo told parishioners in a video posted online Friday. “Those who are accustomed to celebrating Valentine’s Day might do so, perhaps, the day before. Join it up with Mardi Gras!”

How will you handle this?

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