Ember Days?

Given that the vast majority of Catholics would have no idea what you meant if you used the term “Ember Days” you’re not doing badly :smiley:

It’s Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, right?

Yep! And I did some looking - the purpose of ember days are for vocations.

NOW - is someone willing to be charitable to me and remind me on Tuesday night that Wednesday is the first ember day???:o

(Don’t mind if I go off on a small tangent: I found it interesting when I first heard of it )

Until relatively recently, Ember Saturdays (together with Holy Saturday and the Saturday before the Passion Sunday) were the days for ordination-though for the minor orders it could be done on Sundays or feasts with the rank of Double. Tonsures after the Kyrie Eleison,porters after the first Lesson, lectors after the second, exorcists after the third, acolytes after the fourth, subdeaconsj after the fifth, deacons after the Epistle, and priests in the middle of the Tract (before Quoniam confirmata was sung)

Many interesting reasons given why to explain why it was Saturday:
*]It is a fast day rather than a day of feasting because one leaves the earthly life behind
*]Moses prepared the people for 2 days before going up to Mt. Sinai hence the Wednesday and Friday of the Ember Week and the ordination of Saturday
*]Saturday was the Jewish day of rest and the priests had to rest form their earthly cares and works and prepare for divine work
*]Again in this line of thinking: the Jewish Sabbath is for the ordinands rest of heart and in doing so they pass eventually into the rest of eternity denoted by the Sunday.
*]The connection between Saturday as the seventh day and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and the seven orders.
*]The Ember days begin the seasons: and there are in the Old Testament the first offerings of the seasons, but the Levites had to consecrate their first children-likewise the priests are consecrated
*]The original timing would have meant that ordination was carried out during vespers so that would be a Sunday which is the Day of the Lord. (This was decreed by Pope Gelasius who also started this custom of ordaining on the Ember Saturday)
*]The choosing of Sunday has the additional connotation of raised to life with Christ
*]The sharing in the eternal priesthood connected with Sunday as the mystical “eighth day” signifying eternity
And lots more with reasons Genesis regarding rest on the 7th day (St. Augustine also adduced to support this, see Letter 55), mystical explanations connected with the seasons and the characteristics (e.g. new life and that sort of thing)

I have the Angelus Press 1962 missal, which provides both 1983 CIC rules for fasting and suggested traditional practice, and I noticed that, true to our modern form, the US always had a more relaxed practice than the universal norm. Of immediate interest, though, is that I was wondering how the American standard of fast and partial abstinence on ember days can be made to stick out from the traditional fast (fast and at least partial abstinence on all weekdays of Lent) many try to observe during Lent. In a perfect world this would be done liturgically, but since many don’t have access to a daily TLM, what do you suggest? We should come to a CAF consensus of what we’re going to do.

Perhaps go on a more rigourous fast like that of the Eastern Churches. Or observe the day liturgically in one’s own way: like praying the praying the Office of the day, or 7 pentitential psalms and litany, or praying the Office of the dead. They are all traditional Lenten practises (for Fridays and Mondays respectively) that have fallen out of common use and it might not be a bad idea to use them on one of the Ember days.

Pax Vobiscum!

New here and greatly enjoying this topic! How Topical can we be? :stuck_out_tongue:

Ember-Days… Let us prayerfully revive our beloved traditions one at a time! Amen.

Pax Vobiscum! :thumbsup:

Bumping the thread…

Don’t forget, tomorrow is an Ember Day!

Question: Does “partial abstainence” mean meat at only one meal?


I missed the bit about it being a day of partial abstinence so I didn’t eat any meat today. Oh well!

I fasted and abstained, as I did on Ash Wednesday, but I didn’t say the Liturgy of the Hours. I said the Rosary since I don’t have Liturgy of the Hours prayer book.

Thy here for LOH universalis.com/

Thank you so much. I will check it out and use it for my prayers.:slight_smile:

Wishing everyone a blessed Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

Just thought I’d resuscitate this thread - and give a gentle reminder, for those who are interested in such things, that the next ember days will be Wednesday the 19th, Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd.

Read the thread from the beginning if you want to know what ember days are!

Thanks, LilyM, for the reminder. Maybe I’ll go to the parish that says the TLM on Wednesday or Friday, since they would have the Mass for the Ember Days.

Thank you for posting the dates. I read the entire thread about Ember Days and found it extremely informative.

The Church stopped emphasizing Ember Days just about the time I was old enough to actually understand what it all meant and symbolized, so it’s nice that people are talking about them again.

I don’t know about the USA, but in the UK, they have not done away fully with the concept and have allocated 6 days that replace the Ember and Rogation, for various concerns.

Thanks LilyM for the reminder :thumbsup:

In the USA, they definitely have not been observed for a long time. I never heard about them in CCD, Catholic high school or during a homily. I only found out about them when I purchased a 1962 Missal. That’s why I plan to attend the TLM for at least one of the Ember Days next week. I know not a word about them will be mentioned anywhere else.

Does anyone know of a good source that would do a good job explaining Ember Days to children? I thought about doing a small lesson about Ember Days in my CCD class Wednesday night.

Someone gave a link to www.fisheaters (I can’t remember if it’s .com or .org). I have read this site and it’s full of lots of information on all sorts of traditional Catholic matters.

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