What in the world are the Ember Days?
Ember Days are “an ancient liturgical tradition that revolves around the changing of the four seasons and consists of 3 days set apart for fasting and prayer,” and are held on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Historically ordinations fell on Ember days.
The Baltimore Catechism states that “The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.”
The saints also spoke highly of this practice, as it is a sure way to purify souls!
St. John Chrysostom said, “Fasting is the support of our soul: it gives us wings to ascend on high, and to enjoy the highest contemplation! ….God, like an indulgent father, offers us a cure by fasting.”
St. Basil the Great said, “The fast is a weapon of protection against demons…Our Guardian Angels more really stay with those who have cleansed our souls through fasting.”
Ordinarily they fall close to Ash Wednesday, Pentecost, St. Lucy’s day, and Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
September 19, 21, 22
December 19, 21, 22
March 13, 15, 16
June 12, 14, 15