What Are Ember Days?

Ember Days are days of prayer and fasting in order to make thanksgiving and reparation for sin and they are days to pray for the clergy

 Let’s talk a little bit about Ember Days, right? So here we are in this ember week of Lent. So the Ember Days are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. They’re days of prayer and fasting in order to make thanksgiving and reparation for sin and they are days to pray for the clergy, right? And we ask you to submit names of your own clergy members, priests, deacons, religious, for prayer through the Exodus app.

So that’s something we’re doing this week. But, I think the Ember Days are emblematic of so many things in the church right now. These go back to, some people say, even the apostolic days of the church in Rome, the ember days came out of the Roman tradition, actually. So there, they were a pagan practice, but early Christians recognize them as good, right?

We can use these days to thank God for all the gifts he’s given us and to make reparation, to ask his blessing on the coming season. So the early church in Rome embraced these Ember Days. And they’re still on the books right now. But you go to your regular parish and you say, “Hey, are you guys celebrate the Ember Days this week?”

And they say, “Ember, what?” So do you guys, come across these kinds of things in Catholic Answers where people are just trying to figure things out in the church right now? Our theme for Lent is be the renewal. What does that mean? It’s like going back and rediscovering things, making them new again in the life of the church, but especially prayer, asceticism, fraternity, these staples of the Christian life. We’re trying to rediscover them, re-engage them at Exodus, but the Ember Days are part of that for us.

Yeah, absolutely. I know, for example, the Anglican Ordinariate Parish that I attended in Marietta, California, before we moved here to Oklahoma and Tulsa. They celebrated, we celebrated the Ember Days, so that was something that was very prominent and the pastor would promote it and encourage the faithful to engage in fasting and abstinence on the Ember Days. And as you mentioned, the Ember Days being for us to focus our attention, especially like on the blessings of nature, to recall the fruits of the Earth, then the good. Things that our Lord has given to us even physically and to give thanksgiving for that and to engage in the fasting and the abstinence and particularly praying for priests and then of course almsgiving the other penitential action That’s at the forefront of the church’s practice during the season of Lent and in particular in Ember Days as well.

And so I agree with you, Dr. Staudt, that, it’s one of these things to where we can pull from the old, right? And those things that have fallen behind the veil of history and looking into the treasure chest that’s at the bottom of the treasure chest and pulling it out.

To marvel at and to utilize for our own sanctification and renewal of Catholic culture within the home, within the Church and Catholic culture within our society. And this is one way among many that we can do that.

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