Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ern/50642555/

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Bishops Revive The Traditional Devotions In Response To Abuse Crisis. The Ember Days Are Returned To Pittsburgh And Madison.



Illustration: FR. Z's BLOG

The following Text is taken from NEW ADVENT

Ember Days (corruption from the Latin "Quatuor Tempora" (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 Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays after 13 December (S. Lucia), and after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (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 "feriae sementivae", "feriae messis", and "feri vindimiales".

The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilised 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 A.D. - 222 A.D.) a law ordering the Fast, but probably it is older. Pope Leo the Great (440 A.D. - 461 A.D.) considered it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth Season was added, cannot be ascertained, but Pope Gelasius (492 A.D. - 496 A.D.) speaks of all four Seasons. Pope Gelasius 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 Saint Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by The Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with The Roman Liturgy in the 11th-Century. They were introduced by Saint 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 Lessons; for the Wednesdays of Ember Weeks, three Lessons; for the Saturdays of Ember Weeks, six Lessons; and seven Lessons for Ember Saturday in December. Some of these Lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.


The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

In The Liturgical Calendar of The Western Christian Churches, Ember Days are four separate sets of three days within the same week — specifically, the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday — roughly equidistant in the circuit of the year, that are set aside for Fasting and Prayer.

These days, set apart for special Prayer and Fasting, were considered especially suitable for The Ordination of Clergy. The Ember Days are known in Latin as the "quattuor anni tempora" (the "four Seasons of the year"), or, formerly, as the "jejunia quattuor temporum" ("Fasts of the four Seasons").

The four quarterly periods, during which The Ember Days fall, are called The Embertides.


The following Text is taken from, and can be read in full at, FR. Z's BLOG

Bishop Morlino, in his 27 August 2018 Statement, asked The Faithful of The Diocese of Madison to observe The Ember Days as times of reparation for the sins that brought on The Present Crisis. HERE

I read at LIFESITE that Bishop Zubik, of Pittsburgh, which has suffered dreadfully and for a while was a focus of the PA AG Report, has asked The Faithful of that Diocese also to observe The Ember Days.

I am hopeful that this course of events, a return to Tradition and Devotions that work and that have a track record, will bear fruit.


Pittsburgh Bishop Revives Traditional Devotions In Response To Abuse Crisis.

PITTSBURGH, 14 September 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Traditional Devotions, that have all but vanished from the majority of Catholic Parishes, will be revived in one prominent American Diocese on account of the abuse crisis.

Bishop David Zubik, of Pittsburgh, has announced a “Year of Repentance” in his Diocese that will begin on Sunday, 23 September 2018. Bishop Zubik has asked all Clergy to Fast and Pray for The Purification of The Church “in light of the scandal of sex abuse.”

In service of this Fasting and Prayer, the Bishop has instructed the Priests to observe The Twelve Ember Days of the coming year by abstaining from meat and Praying before The Blessed Sacrament for an hour on those days.


Tradition works.

When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote to the Irish people, after their world fell apart, he recommended a return to Traditional Devotions.

Maybe he was on to something ?

It is interesting how The Ember Days have been dusted off.

Oh yes . . . there’s more:

In addition, The Bishop of Pittsburgh has asked his Priests to consider leading The Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel after all Masses, a Devotional Practice established in 1884 and discontinued in most Parishes after The Second Vatican Council. Two or three other American Bishops have recently requested its return.

Rather than creep up to it, why not just institute The Leonine Prayers, the whole thing ?

The following Text is from BLOG MY SOUL


The Lenten Ember Days comprise the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the week following The First Sunday in Lent.

Oh, want to know more about Ember Days ?

The handy shortcut for remembering the holidays that herald The Ember Days is:
“Lucy, Ashes, Dove, and Cross:

Sant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia
Ut sit in angaria quarta sequens feria.

Which is, for those of us who don’t think in Latin:

Holy Cross, Lucy, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost,
Are when The Quarter Holidays follow.

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