Ember Days of Lent
Today (Wednesday), Friday and Saturday of this week constitute the Ember Days, which occur four times a year at the outset of the four seasons: the week following St. Lucy’s feast in December, the week after Ash Wednesday in spring, the week after Pentecost in summer and the week after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in September.
The intention of the Ember Days is to thank God for the gifts of nature, to ask His help in using them in moderation and to assist the needy. These days are traditionally observed by means of fasting on all days and partial abstinence (meat only at the main meal) on Wednesday and Saturday, in addition to the required full Lenten abstinence on Friday.
Bénedic, ánima mea, Dómino, et noli oblivísci omnes retributiónes ejus: et renovábitur, sicut áquilæ, juvéntus tua.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He hath done for thee: and thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s.
– the Offertory for Ember Friday in Lent (Psalm 102:2,5)
February 21, 2018