Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ember Days

Have you ever wonder what Ember Days are? Before I started going to the Traditional Mass, I had never heard of Ember Days. Here, copied from my Church bulletin, and posted for your education and edification, is a little explanation of what Ember Days are and how they are traditionally celebrated:

Ember Days
The autumn Ember Days fall on Wednesday, September 23; Friday, September 25; and Saturday, September 26.

Four times a year, the Church sets aside three days to focus on God through His wonderful creation. These "Ember Days" (from Quatuor Tempora in Latin) take place around the beginnings of the four natural seasons, and are each kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. These days are spent fasting and partially abstaining (voluntary since the 1983 Code of Canon Law) in penance, in thankfulness for the gifts God gives us in nature, and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation. In the Old Testament, the Jews fasted weekly on Tuesday and Thursday, but Christians changed the fast days to Wednesday (the day on which Christ was betrayed) and Friday (the day on which He was crucified) and added Saturday (the day He was entombed). Ember Days are days favoured for priestly ordinations, prayers for priests, First Communions, almsgiving and other penitential and charitable acts, and prayers for the souls in Purgatory. Because of the days' focus on nature, they are also traditional times for women to pray for children and for safe deliveries.


Marilena said...

thanks for the valuable info. i appreciate it.

Anita Moore said...

Whoops...good thing fasting and partial abstinence on Ember Days are optional. I already blew Wednesday!

But it's too bad we got rid of these. It's curious that all the devotions and reminders we used to have should have been considered unnecessary in the wake of the bloodiest war in history, and in the midst of the Cold War and the social and cultural chaos of the '60s and '70s. It was precisely a time when we were proving extensively just how much we DO need those things.

I guess there was a view that all that death and destruction served as a sort of reset button. I suppose that was true to some extent; but surely not to the extent of rebuilding that which was not originally built by mere men and which had not been destroyed.

Tom in Vegas said...

I had heard of Ember Days, but I can't say that we follow the tradition in this diocese. It's a shame because autumn can be very beutiful and its inherent beauty can bring about contemplation and introspection. Imagine how beautiful some of the rustic monasteries can look during the autumn season!

paramedicgirl said...

Tom!!! Are you back???

Tom in Vegas said...

Somwhat. I do have LOTS of school work to jugle.

I'm just glad you're still here:0)

Marilena said...

for those of you who love dogs and cats, your welcome to drop by my new blog called canine felinity. its fun, its new, and i'll post pics of my cat jingles. here is the address:

Convenor said...

Dear Pharmaceutical Girl,

It would be very kind if you could let your readers know about the latest issue of our journal 'CHRISTVS REGNAT' ( and about our blog ( to which you're very welcome to link/follow/add to your blogroll.

God bless you!

St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association

Anonymous said...

I remember them; I was very young.
Just found you - will you be posting again soon? We also love The TLM, Traditional Latin Sacraments, and true teachings now lost in modernism.
God Bless you.

Micki said...

Hi.....I didn't know you were not posting any longer. Are there plans to return?