Friday, September 11, 2009

Michaelmas Ember Tide

On Wednesday of next week begins the Fall Ember tide. Three days (Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday) of partial abstinence from meat, fasting, and prayer. Traditionally, there are 4 times each year where the church would set aside successive Wednesday, Friday ,and Saturdays as Ember Days.

The first set of Ember Days occurs in winter during Advent, the second comes in spring the week after Ash Wednesday, the third in the summer after Pentecost Sunday, and the fourth during the fall after the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross.

On these days Catholics would spend time fasting (They would have one principal meal during the day and if necessary for strength two smaller meals. No snacking between meals), partially abstaining from meat (They would only eat meat at one principal meal of the day), and praying to God, thanking Him for the many gifts he has given them.

The Church no longer requires Catholics to observe Ember tide, however, many Catholics still do. This year, I am going to join them in abstinence, fasting and prayer. In addition to thanking God for the gifts he has brought into my life I will also pray for the success of the upcoming harvest and for our area farmers, for Bishop LeVoir and the Diocese of New Ulm, for unity in the Catholic church, and for all priests and seminarians of the Diocese of New Ulm.

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