Just a friendly reminder from your neighborhood Hunky, this week Weds, Fri and Saturday are “Ember Days” on the
Traditional Roman calendar.
This traditionally meant days of fasting and partial abstinence, which are voluntary today. In the penitential motif of Holy Lent, and our efforts to be closer to God, these practices were commonplace not so many decades ago, with the change of seasons, just as we are ready to go into Spring, despite the winter like weather in most parts of the US, even the normally more balmy South and West.
Ember Days were any of a number of days reserved for fasting and prayer in the Western Catholic Church. Ember days traditionally comprise the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following St. Lucy’s Day (December 13), the first Sunday in Lent, Pentecost (Whitsun), and Holy Cross Day (September 14), though other days are observed locally.
In the Eastern Rites, five All Souls Saturdays are observed, 3 of which fall during Holy Lent in successive weeks, with the praying for the souls of the dearly departed who may still be in Purgatory anticipating a heavenly reward at the appointed time. A roll call of names of the deceased (Hramoty) is read during a service called Panachida which closely resembles the prayers before the casket at wakes or at the grave site during funerals, in the Eastern Rites.
The other two All Souls Saturdays are the Saturday of Meatfare Week (2nd Sunday before Lent) and the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday.
Let’s do that something extra this Holy Lent to become more closer to God spiritually, along with other acts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These are two additional ways one can do that.