Parishioners have been asked to postpone their Valentines’s Day celebration by the Catholic diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, US, because it falls on Ash Wednesday.
The parishioners were also given the option of celebrating Valentine’s a day prior on February 13. Robert J Baker, head of the Catholic diocese of Birmingham, made this known in a letter addressed to the church members.
In the letter, he stated the importance of Ash Wednesday and the reason why a dispensation from standard laws of fast and abstinence would not be granted. He wrote: “For the first time since 1945, Valentine’s day falls this year on Ash Wednesday.
Some have wondered whether a dispensation from the standard laws of fast and abstinence would be granted. Out of respect for importance of Ash Wednesday in the lives of so many- including our non-Catholic brethren- and the way this underlines the importance of Lenten season at its outset, a dispensation will not be given.
Those who wish to celebrate Valentine’s day may fittingly do so the day before (Mardi Gras) or on another potential day. The good lord, who suffered so much out of love for us, will surely reward our fidelity and sacrifice.”