Catholics mark Ash Wednesday today

A carnival paarde even took place in the Petržalka borough of Bratislava February 12

Some people may be unhappy as Mass or services can be intrusive on their Valentine's Day plans, but what Christians should know is that Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, so people should not be so upset as they are not required to go.

Millions of Christians across the world will be confused whether to celebrate Valentine's Day 2018 or not. Why?

Some may choose to make their loved ones feel special on the day by gifting them with their favorite book, gadget or other items while others may opt to give a treat, perhaps a delicious meal or a romantic dinner.

It is also Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent - the period of forty weekdays leading to Easter which many Christians observe with fasting, enitence and charity. "It's a time of fasting and prayer to re-commit to our baptismal promises". The crosses are burned to create the ashes and are mixed with oil, which is then marked on a person's forehead or palm to remind him or her, each year, that we are renewed and reborn in Love.

On Ash Wednesday, Catholics and other Christians have ash placed on their forehead, often in the shape of a visible cross.

I'm going to tell everyone: "'You are loved and you are going to die, '" Christopher James, a professor at the Presbyterian University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, said on Twitter.

Yet some leaders are saying the pairing need not be so awkward.

The religious fast day Ash Wednesday commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent fasting during his temptation by Satan (recounted in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke).

Degiandira Escobedo, a senior accounting major at Texas Woman's University in Denton, likes how Wesleyan is having service for students and thinks it would be a good idea for Texas Woman's to do the same and hold an Ash Wednesday service on campus. Our prayer is that the fruit of the season will continue to germinate and bear more fruits in our daily lives, " he said.

"People seem to appreciate the importance of Lent, and this marks the beginning of Lent", she said. The council also invites local churches, businesses and individuals to participate.

Fasting refers to eating only one complete meal and two smaller ones.

"What's a Catholic to do, many wonder", wrote Cardinal Timothy Dolan of NY.

"Giving up the things we are attached to or like very much can only make sense if they lead us to a deeper experience of God".



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