THE EMBER WEEK
Dec. 15th, 17th, 18th, 2021: EMBER DAYS
“we might afflict ourselves before the Lord our God, and might ask of him a right way for
us and for our children, and for all our substance… And we fasted, and besought our God for this: and it fell out prosperously unto us.”
(I Esdras, viii. 21, 23)
Dec. 15, 2021: Ember Wednesday – Fasting and Partial Abstinence.
Dec. 17, 2021: Ember Friday – Fasting and Complete Abstinence.
Dec. 18, 2021: Ember Saturday – Fasting and Partial Abstinence.
THE EMBER DAYS
Ember days are four separate sets of three days within the same week — specifically, the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday — roughly equidistant in the circuit of the year, that are formerly set aside for fasting and prayer. These four sets of Ember-Weeks are the fasts of the four seasons.
The Ember-days (so called from the custom of our forefathers: fasting on those days in sackcloth and ashes, or from their eating nothing but cakes baked under the embers) are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the first Week of Lent, of Whitsun-Week (Pentecost-Week), of the third Week in September (after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – September 14), and of the third Week in Advent (after the feast of St. Lucy – December 13). The spirit of the Church is to engage her children, at these stated times, to pray, fast, and perform such other good works, as may prevail with God to furnish his Church with good Pastors; Saturday in Ember-Week being the appointed day for ordaining and consecrating persons to the Sacred Ministry. We are likewise to beg God’s blessing on the fruits of the earth, and give him thanks for those we have already received.
Source: The Divine Office for the Use of Laity, Volume I, Edition 1806
Nature of Fasting & Abstinence on Ember Days:
EMBER WEDNESDAY – Fasting and Partial Abstinence is observed.
EMBER FRIDAY – Fasting and Complete Abstinence is observed.
EMBER SATURDAY – Fasting and Partial Abstinence is observed.
“Now therefore saith the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn
to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil.”
(Joel, ii. 12-13)
Sweet Heart of Jesus, be Thou my love.
(300 days indulgence)
Sweet Heart of Mary, be our Salvation.
(300 days indulgence)