Ember Days?

Are Ember Days fast days, abstinence days or both?

Good question, and when are the next ones anyways?

I’m not sure. I believe they are seasonal, so there should be some coming up soon. I’m hoping that somebody on these forums will know, since they are from the traditional calendar. My parents don’t remember the ember days.

They were days of fast and abstinence - Wednesday, Friday and Saturday - four times a year; once for each season. I can’t find the exact days, but think they were the first week of each season. - I could be off by a week.

I THINK the next ones start on the first Sunday of Lent. I’ll try to find out for sure.

Ok, from www.fisheaters.com, I have gotten this:

These four times are each kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and are known as “Ember Days,” or Quatuor Tempora, in Latin. The first of these four times comes in Winter, after the the Feast of St. Lucy; the second comes in Spring, the week after Ash Wednesday; the third comes in Summer, after Pentecost Sunday; and the last comes in Autumn, after Holy Cross Day. Their dates can be remembered by this old mnemonic:

Sant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia
Ut sit in angaria quarta sequens feria.
Which means:

Holy Cross, Lucy, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost,
are when the quarter holidays follow.
For non-Latinists, it might be easier to just remember “Lucy, Ashes, Dove, and Cross.”

These times are spent fasting and partially abstaining (voluntary since the new Code of Canon Law) in penance and with the intentions of thanking God for the gifts He gives us in nature and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation. The fasts, known as “Jejunia quatuor temporum,” or “the fast of the four seasons,” are rooted in Old Testament practices of fasting four times a year:

So my question: is Ash Wednesday also an Ember day, or is the the week following?

Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the first Sunday of Lent.

Ine modification though t

Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the First Sunday of Lent.

Bl. John XXIII changed the thing slightly so that for the 1962 calendar the Ember days always occur in the third week of September rather than the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following Holy Cross. Thus, there can be as much as a week’s difference in some years between those observing the pre-1960 and the post 1960 rubrics.

Just a bit of food trivia. The Japanese dish tempura was originated but the Portuguese sailors that celebrated Quator Tempora.

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I was taught “Lent, Pent, Cruci, and Lucy” as a semi-English mnemonic (with the last two pronounced so as to rhyme.)

As someone as pointed out, Bl John made things more complicated, but such is life!

When is Feast of St. Lucy?

Dec. 13th.

Thank you!


If I said ‘cruci’ though, I’d be thinking of Good Friday, rather than Holy Cross.

Me too. By the way, when is Holy Cross?

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross is on September 14. Before 1960 and the revised Kalendrium there used to be another one on May 3…the Finding of the Holy Cross…though that way the Cross was actually found on the 14th of September by St. Helena.

Thank you. I knew it by the name Exhaltation of the Holy Cross. I thought “Holy Cross” was a different Feast.

Ember Days this week!


Ok - someone please remind me - are we fasting and abstaining for vocations?

I need an embarassed smily about right now …

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