Wednesday, May 18, 2016Ember Wednesday
A series of three Ember Days (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) are observed four times a year:
(1) following the Third Sunday of Advent
(2) following the First Sunday in Lent
(3) following the Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday)
(4) following Holy Cross Day
A major feast day overrides an Ember Day if they fall on the same day.
Ember Days, traditionally seasonal days of fasting and prayer, became over time associated with ordination of clergy and with prayer for the Church.
Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed various orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all who are called to any office and ministry for thy people; and so fill them with the truth of thy doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name and for the benefit of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.