ember days traditional catholic

What are Ember Days?

Ember days indicate the start of each season in the Catholic Church’s liturgical year. The Church seasons are Advent, Lent, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time. Coincidentally (or perhaps as Church history dictates), each season also aligns with the natural seasons particularly in the US climate.

Ember days are traditionally a day of fasting and abstinence, at least in the US only a partial abstinence is observed. Abstinence means avoiding eating meat, while fasting means eating only one-full meal. It is still being practiced by traditional Catholics.

Ember Days occur on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following the feast that culminates them. Folklore has it that the weather conditions of each of the Ember day predicts the weather of the next three months respectively. See the following table.

ember days traditional catholic
Church seasonNatural seasonStarts in the Month ofFeast that triggers the start of a new liturgical season The weather ofPredicts the weather of
AdventWinterDecemberSt. Lucy (Dec 13)Ember Wednesday of AdventJanuary
Ember Friday of AdventFebruary
Ember Saturday of AdventMarch
LentSpringFebruaryAsh Wednesday
(movable feast; 46 days before Easter)
Ember Wednesday of LentApril
Ember Wednesday of LentMay
Ember Wednesday of LentJune
PentecostSummerMayDescent of the Holy Ghost (movable feast; 8th Sunday after Easter)Ember Wednesday of PentecostJuly
Ember Wednesday of PentecostAugust
Ember Wednesday of PentecostSeptember
MichaelmasFallSeptemberHoly Cross (Sep 14)Ember Wednesday of MichealmasOctober
Ember Wednesday of MichaelmasNovember
Ember Wednesday of MichaelmasDecember

When are the Ember days in 2021?

The Ember days in 2021 are:

  • Feb 24             Ember Wednesday of Lent
    Feb 26             Ember Friday of Lent
    Feb 27             Ember Saturday of Lent
  • May 26            Ember Wednesday of Pentecost
    May 28            Ember Friday of Pentecost
    May 29            Ember Saturday of Pentecost
  • Sep 22             Ember Wednesday of Michaelmas
    Sep 24             Ember Friday of Michaelmas
    Sep 25             Ember Saturday of Michaelmas
  • Dec 15                         Ember Wednesday of Advent
    Dec 17                         Ember Friday of Advent
    Dec 18                         Ember Saturday of Advent

Check out our 2021 Traditional Catholic Daily Planner for Moms on Amazon

Based on the 1962 Missal, each day in the weekly and monthly planner pages are marked with the Catholic Church’s traditional feasts: Liturgical seasons, Ember days, Saints of the day and more.

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