Ember Wednesday in Advent

This coming Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are Ember Days under the classical Roman Calendar. At the beginning of the four seasons of the year, the Church celebrated Ember Days to thank God for his blessings during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season.

Their observance is no longer required by many Catholic bishops conferences, however they are naturally of benefit and merit. Ember Days were marked by fasting and abstaining from meat as one would do on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday. They are intended to consecrate to God the four seasons in nature, and to prepare by penance those who are about to be ordained. Ordinations were often conferred at this time, so it is traditional to pray for Vocations at this time! Something to remember.

The New Advent Catholic Encyclopaedia has a good small article on Ember Days. Also, Fr John Zühlsdorf, of What Does the Prayer Really Say? makes an argument for greater sacrifice and penance here.


Wednesday 16 December 2009

Ember Wednesday in Advent
2nd Class, Violet
(Lauds II, Preces)

Præsta, quæsumus, omnípotens Deus : ut redemptiónis nostræ ventúra solémnitas, et præséntis nobis vitæ subsídia cónferat, et ætérnæ beatitúdinis præmia largiátur. Per Dóminum.

Let us pray.

Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God : that the coming festival of our redemption may obtain for us the comfort of thy succour in this life, and in the life to come the reward of eternal felicity.




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