Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

Post Reply
7 years ago  ::  Sep 20, 2011 - 3:05PM #1
Thomas A Quinas
Posts: 1,970

Excerpts from the article:

The Four Seasons

The Ember days, which fall on a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the same week, occur in conjunction with the four natural seasons of the year. Autumn brings the September Embertide, also called the Michaelmas Embertide because of their proximity to the Feast of St. Michael on September 29. Winter, on the other hand, brings the December Embertide during the third week of Advent, and spring brings the Lenten Embertide after the first Sunday of Lent. Finally, summer heralds the Whitsun Embertide, which takes place within the Octave of Pentecost.


Fasting and partial abstinence during the Ember days were also enjoined on the faithful from time immemorial until the 1960s. It is the association of fasting and penance with the Embertides that led some to think that their peculiar name has something to do with smoldering ash, or embers. But the English name is probably derived from their Latin title, the Quatuor Tempora or “Four Seasons.” 


Usefully Natural

This fulfillment of the Law is crucial because it teaches us something fundamental about God, His redemptive plan for us, and the nature of the universe. In the case of both the Hebrew seasonal fasts and the Christian Ember days, we are invited to consider the wonder of the natural seasons and their relation to their Creator. The four seasons, for example, can be said to intimate individually the bliss of Heaven, where there is “the beauty of spring, the brightness of summer, the plenty of autumn, the rest of winter.”


The Ember days, then, stand out as the only days in the supernatural seasons of the Church that commemorate the natural seasons of the earth. This is appropriate, for since the liturgical year annually renews our initiation into the mystery of redemption, it should have some special mention of the very thing which grace perfects.

Call to Prayer and Fasting

This year, the Autumn Ember days are on September 21 [Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle], 23, and 24 . . . Let all traditional# Catholics unite to observe the traditional Ember fast on these three days . . .

*This article appears in the Fall 2008 issue of The Latin Mass Magazine, vol. 17:4

#Strike through by TAQ
Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be.. -- St. Therese of Lisieux. For applicable reads: Uniformity with God’s Will by Saint Alphonsus Liguori ... or ... Story of a Soul
Quick Reply
7 years ago  ::  Sep 22, 2011 - 5:46PM #2
Posts: 2,025

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the reminder.  I hadn't even remembered that Ember days existed.  It is good to remember the reason for all the seasons.


Quick Reply
3 years ago  ::  Sep 23, 2015 - 12:37PM #3
Thomas A Quinas
Posts: 1,970

From the 1st lesson today of the Mass readings for Ember Wednesday:

Léctio Amos Prophétæ.
Amos 9:13-15
Hæc dicit Dóminus Deus: Ecce, dies véniunt: et comprehéndet arátor messórem, et calcátor uvæ mitténtem semen: et stillábunt montes dulcédinem, et omnes colles culti erunt. Et convértam captivitátem pópuli mei Israël: et ædificábunt civitátes desértas et inhabitábunt: et plantábunt víneas et bibent vinum eárum: et fácient hortos et cómedent fructus eórum. Et plantábo eos super humum suam: et non evéllam eos ultra de terra sua, quam dedi eis: dicit Dóminus, Deus tuus.

Amos 9:13-15
Thus says the Lord God: Yes, days are coming, when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the vintager, him who sows the seed; the juice of grapes shall drip down the mountains, and all the hills shall run with it. I will bring about the restoration of My people Israel; they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits. I will plant them upon their own ground; never again shall they be plucked from the land I have given them, say I, the Lord, your God.

This sounds (to me) quite a bit like an answered prayer petitioned via Psalm 79 (audio):

2 Qui pascis Israel, intende,
qui deducis velut ovem Ioseph.

Qui sedes super cherubim, effulge
3 coram Ephraim, Beniamin et Manasse.

Excita potentiam tuam et veni,
ut salvos facias nos.

4 Deus, converte nos,
illustra faciem tuam, et salvi erimus.

5 Domine, Deus virtutum,
quousque irasceris super orationem populi tui?
6 Cibasti nos pane lacrimarum

et potum dedisti nobis in lacrimis copiose.

7 Posuisti nos in contradictionem vicinis nostris,
et inimici nostri subsannaverunt nos.

8 Deus virtutum, converte nos,
illustra faciem tuam, et salvi erimus.

9 Vineam de Aegypto transtulisti,
eiecisti gentes et plantasti eam.
10 Purgasti locum in conspectu eius,
plantasti radices eius, et implevit terram.
11 Operti sunt montes umbra eius,
et ramis eius cedri Dei;

12 extendit palmites suos usque ad mare
et usque ad flumen propagines suas.
13 Ut quid destruxisti maceriam eius,
et vindemiant eam omnes, qui praetergrediuntur viam?
14 Exterminavit eam aper de silva,
et singularis ferus depastus est eam.
15 Deus virtutum, convertere,
respice de caelo et vide et visita vineam istam.
16 Et protege eam, quam plantavit dextera tua,
et super filium hominis, quem confirmasti tibi.
17 Incensa est igni et suffossa;
ab increpatione vultus tui peribunt.
18 Fiat manus tua super virum dexterae tuae,
super filium hominis, quem confirmasti tibi.
19 Et non discedemus a te, vivificabis nos,
et nomen tuum invocabimus.
20 Domine, Deus virtutum, converte nos
et illustra faciem tuam, et salvi erimus.

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
thou who leadest Joseph like a flock!
Thou who art enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2 before E′phraim and Benjamin and Manas′seh!
Stir up thy might,
and come to save us!
3 Restore us, O God;
let thy face shine, that we may be saved!
4 O Lord God of hosts,
how long wilt thou be angry with thy people’s prayers?
5 Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6 Thou dost make us the scorn[a] of our neighbors;
and our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Restore us, O God of hosts;
let thy face shine, that we may be saved!
8 Thou didst bring a vine out of Egypt;
thou didst drive out the nations and plant it.
9 Thou didst clear the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches;
11 it sent out its branches to the sea,
and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then hast thou broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
15 the stock which thy right hand planted.[b]
16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance!
17 But let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand,
the son of man whom thou hast made strong for thyself!
18 Then we will never turn back from thee;
give us life, and we will call on thy name!
19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
let thy face shine, that we may be saved!

The numbering is off by 1.  I won't go to the Old Mass today, so praying some of it during downtime seemed like the next best thing.  The new calendar enables me to celebrate Padre Pio's feastday, so I'm trying to get the best of both worlds ...

Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be.. -- St. Therese of Lisieux. For applicable reads: Uniformity with God’s Will by Saint Alphonsus Liguori ... or ... Story of a Soul
Quick Reply
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing

    Beliefnet On Facebook