ember days, in the Western Church, traditionally the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following the first Sunday in Lent; Whitsunday; Sept. 14 (Exaltation of the Cross); and Dec. 13 (St. Lucy's Day). They were days of fasting to sanctify the season, and the ember Saturdays were considered especially appropriate for ordinations. The ember days are of very ancient and uncertain origin. The dates of their celebration are now determined by national hierarchies rather than by the universal Roman liturgical calendar, and they are frequently called "days of prayer for peace."
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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