Catholic Answers

Search Articles


Navigation

Search Scans
Scans by volume
Random Article
Login - advanced access

Collections

1,001 Saints
List of Popes
Art Gallery
Map Room
RSS Feeds RSS

Curricula

Apologetics
Art
Catechetics
Christology
Church Hierarchy
Church History - to 1517 A.D.
Education
Ethics
Hagiography - saints
Homiletics - sermons
Mariology - on Mary
Patrology
Philosophy
Religious Orders
Sacred Scripture
Science

Front Matter — Vol I

Title Page
Copyright & Imprimatur
To the Knights of Columbus
Preface
Contributors
Tables of Abbreviations

Site Status

Articles:11,552
Images:42,348
Links:183,872
Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Ecclesiastical Emancipation Ecclesiastical Emancipation Embolism next: Embolism

Ember Days

Days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence

High Resolution Scan ———————————

Login or register to access high resolution scans and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

Errata* for Ember Days:
———————————

Login or register to access the errata and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!


————
* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Ember-days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempera, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after December 13 (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after September 14 (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class. At the beginning of the time for seeding-and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their ferioe sementivioe, ferioe messis, and ferioe vindemiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week—these were formerly given only at Easter. Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

FRANCIS MERSHMAN


discuss this article | send to a friend

Discussion on 'Ember Days'











prev: Ecclesiastical Emancipation Ecclesiastical Emancipation Embolism next: Embolism

Report translation problem

*Description: Copy and paste the phrase with the problem or describe how the trascription can be fixed.
  * denotes required field
Severity:

Featured

Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Catholic Q & A


Popular Subjects
Top 20 Questions

Ask A Faith Question

Quotable Catholics RSS

"Great is poverty, but greater is obedience."
-- Pope John XXII, in his Bull "Quorumdam exigit" (1317); urging a group of separatist friars who engaged in extreme asceticism to follow the Faith (e.g., Romans 13:1-2) and obey their leaders (from the article "Spirituals")

Donations

Latest OCE Discussion



Your usage constitutes agreement with User License :: Permissions :: Copyright © 2014, Catholic Answers.
Site last updated Aug 12, 2013