Ember Week update (3rd week of Advent)

Dear Friends of the Charlotte Latin Mass Community,

Laudetur Iesus Christus!  As we enter into the 3rd week of Advent, it’s also Ember Week, where 3 days (Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday) are set aside for prayer and fasting in the 1962 calendar (now optional under the current Canon Law Code). As Fisheaters.com states:

Four times a year, the Church sets aside three days to focus on God through His marvelous creation. These quarterly periods take place around the beginnings of the four natural seasons 1 that “like some virgins dancing in a circle, succeed one another with the happiest harmony,” as St. John Chrysostom wrote (see Readings below).

These four times are each kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and are known as “Ember Days,” or Quatuor Tempora, in Latin. The first of these four times comes in Winter, after the the Feast of St. Lucy; the second comes in Spring, the week after Ash Wednesday; the third comes in Summer, after Pentecost Sunday; and the last comes in Autumn, after Holy Cross Day.

These times are spent fasting and partially abstaining (voluntary since the new Code of Canon Law) in penance and with the intentions of thanking God for the gifts He gives us in nature and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation.

Ember Days are days favored for priestly ordinations, prayer for priests, first Communions, almsgiving and other penitential and charitable acts, and prayer for the souls in Purgatory.

Note that medieval lore says that during Embertides, the souls in Purgatory are allowed to appear visibly to those on earth who pray for them.

Because of the days’ focus on nature, they are also traditional times for women to pray for children and safe deliveries.

The Masses during the Ember Days also have special readings and prayers. If you have a 1962 daily missal, you may wish to take a closer look at the readings this week for these days.  As we hear much about “climate change” in the news, its important to actually learn how the Church traditionally gave thanks to God for creation- something missing in today’s discussion.  You can learn more by visiting Fisheaters.com or review this wonderful Ember Day document published by Prince of Peace Parish in Taylors, SC. And of course Wednesday’s 6pm Mass at St. Ann will be Ember Wednesday Mass.

Other events this week:

1) Liturgy and Lager after Mass this Wednesday: For the gents – our first Liturgy and Lager is after Wednesday’s 6pm Mass. We’ll go out to nearby Sir Edmond Halley’s after Mass and grab a drink or meal and have fellowship (beer is OK during Ember Days – see note at bottom of e-mail). All guys are welcome. Contact Chris if you have questions.

2) Rorate Mass 6:30am Saturday at St. Ann: One of the parish’s beautiful traditions. Never been to a Rorate Mass? See John Cosmos’ beautiful photos of St. Thomas’ Rorate Mass last Saturday.

3) Blessing Table after Mass this Sunday: A blessing table will be set up in the narthex so you can have religious items/gifts blessed by Fr. Reid after 12:30 Mass. Please place them on the table either prior to Mass (assume risks) or immediately after Mass so Father is not waiting. Items can be rosaries, medals, scapulars, statues, sacred art, candles, Holy water, Salt, oil, etc. (this is not exhaustive)

4) Coffee & donuts this past Sunday: Thanks to all who joined us Sunday. Judging by the crowd it was a great success! – no doubt thanks to St. Lucy’s intercession. If you have any feedback on the coffee and how to make it better let us know. Stay tuned for our January coffee.

Drinking during Ember Day fast:

“Strictly speaking, whatever may be classified under the head of liquids may be taken as drink or medicine at any time of the day or night on fasting days. Hence, water, lemonade, soda, water,ginger ale, wine, beer and similar drinks may be taken on fasting days outside meal time even though such beverages may, to some extent, prove nutritious.”
[Taken  from New Advent article on Fasting:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05789c.htm%5D