Okay, so it's not really canceled, but this year Ash Wednesday falls on February 14, 2024. Valentine’s Day is “canceled” in the sense that as Catholics, Ash Wednesday marks the solemn beginning of Lent. It comes with two important responsibilities:
Will there be a dispensation?
Unlike Fridays in Lent where our Bishop occasionally grants permission to have meat to celebrate the feast of St. Patrick, there will be no dispensation given because Ash Wednesday is one of the two (the other being Good Friday) most important penitential days of the year.
What about Valentine's Day?
Those wishing to celebrate Valentine's Day with special meals or candy are encouraged to celebrate early. Tuesday, February 13th also known as “Fat Tuesday” would be a great option.
Why do we have to do all this?
We abstain from physical things like food and especially meat because this helps remind us of spiritual and physical realities, the most important being that at one point we will need to depart this world.
When you receive the ashes on your forehead during Mass at 7:30 AM or 6:30 PM on Ash Wednesday the prayer that accompanies the sign of the cross with the ashes is “remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”
Blessings in these final days before Lent,