LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Catholic hearts will be put to the test Wednesday, when Valentine’s Day falls on the same day as Ash Wednesday for the first time in decades.

Valentine’s Day is, of course, typically celebrated romantic gifts, chocolate and possibly a sumptuous dinner, but that may not be possible on usually somber Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, the season of penance.

Of course for members of the clergy, the two holidays are both about love, since Ash Wednesday is about showing appreciation for God’s love and sacrifice by fasting and abstaining from meat.

“For Christians and Catholics, the ultimate Valentine is God sending Jesus to the world,” says Father Michael Miller of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church.

Of course, one way to honor God on the combination Valentine’s Day-Ash Wednesday holiday would be to make a permanent commitment by getting married.

Couples won’t need to make an appointment – although they may find a line – to get married at a county office Wednesday. The Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s main office in Norwalk is usually the busiest location, and conducted 84 weddings last year, spokeswoman Brenda Duran said. The Norwalk office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but other locations will close a little earlier at 4 p.m.

The fee for a civil wedding ceremony is $35. Public marriage licenses are $91, and $85 for confidential licenses. Couples can apply for the license online at www.lavote.net.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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