Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Ember Wednesday. The Impression Of The Stigmata Of Saint Francis.

This Article is taken from the excellent Blog, THE SAINT LAWRENCE PRESS LTD

Iona Abbey,

Today is Ember Wednesday in September or, sometimes, referred to as the Michaelmas Ember Wednesday. Traditionally, it was a Day of Fast and Abstinence. Today is also the Double Feast of The Impression of the Stigmata of Saint Francis. The Liturgical colour of the Feast is White.

At Mattins the lessons in the first nocturn are proper to the feast with the responsories from the Common of Confessors. In the third nocturn the eighth responsory is proper to the feast and the ninth lesson is of the Ember Wednesday. The Te Deum is sung. At Lauds after the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Ember Wednesday is sung.

Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Ember Wednesday, the Common Preface is sung and the last Gospel is of the Ember Wednesday.

Private Masses may be of the Ember Wednesday with violet vestments. The Mass texts are proper, the second collect is of the feast and the dismissal is Benedicamus Domino. In Cathedral and Collegiate churches there are two Masses. The first, of the feast, is after Terce. There is no commemoration of the Ember Day and the last Gospel is In principio. After None the Mass of the Ember Day is sung without commemoration of the feast. The deacon and sub-deacon wear violet folded chasubles rather than dalmatic and tunicle.

Vespers are of the following feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino with a commemoration of the preceding feast. The liturgy of the Ember Wednesday ends with None so there is no commemoration of it at Vespers.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Ember Wednesday is postponed a week due to the novel way introduced of calculating the first Sunday of the month. Today is a IV class ferial day with the Mass of the preceding Sunday. At Lauds and Low Mass there is a commemoration of the Impression of the Stigmata of St. Francis.

St Andrew Daily Missal (Traditional Mass)

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  1. Psssst. Next Wednesday is Ember Wednesday. Made the mistake myself the last time the 1962 and pre-1962 methods of calculating Michaelmas Embertide conflicted.

    1. I do hope you are being sarcastic!

    2. Thank You, G. Thomas Fitzpatrick for your most welcome Comment. Whilst understanding perfectly where your observation is coming from, may I, respectfully, point you towards Fr Z's most erudite summation of the September Ember Day fiasco ?

      Fr Z beautifully explains the ins and outs of the fiasco at

      Meanwhile, like THE SAINT LAWRENCE PRESS LTD (see Link, underneath photo in Post), I am extremely comfortable with the Ember Day date, as followed by The Catholic Church for thousands of years prior to the ripping apart of the Breviary and Mass in the early 60s.

      As the British Government eloquently said to the populace, during The Blitz in World War II, "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON".


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