The 1st Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
after ‘Lucy, Ashes, Dove and Cross’
The term ‘Ember Days‘ find its origin in the Latin Quatuor Tempora (‘four times’). Ember Days are observed on the successive Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the beginning of the four seasons of the year and are an ancient practise instituted by the Church to thank God for blessings received and to implore further graces for the season ahead. They are intended to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation and to assist those in need.
Ember Days are days of fasting and abstinence and fall annually after “Lucy, Ashes, Dove, and Cross“:
• December 13 (St. Lucia, V.M.)
• Ash Wednesday
• Whitsunday (Pentecost)
• September 14 (Exaltation of the Holy Cross)
From Blessed be God: A Complete Catholic Prayer Book (pp.234-5):
“Wednesday, Friday and Saturday were days of particular devotion in the early Church: Wednesday as recalling the betrayal of our Lord, and Friday in memory of His Passion, Saturday was later added to these days of prayer and penance as a continuation of Friday, and as far back as the second century they were set apart as Stational days, that is, as days of special religious service and fasting.”
The origins of Ember Days date from the ancient Church (at least the fifth century) and the modern format was arranged and prescribed by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085).
As the dismantling, deconstruction and open disregard for the practise of the authentic, orthodox Catholic Faith took hold after Vatican II, veiled in stratagems of ambiguity and seeded generationally, the observance of Ember and Rogation Days were among the early casualties.
And on that note, and bearing in mind that God sends His people the priests that they deserve – some say on a personal, rather than purely societal, basis – following the extract from Jeremiah 3: 14-15 below, are some prayers for Ember Days.
“Return, O ye revolting children, saith the Lord: for I am your husband: and I will take you, one of a city, and two of a kindred, … I will give you pastors according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine.” (Jeremiah 3: 14-15)
Ember Day Prayers
ANT. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He hath done for thee.
V/. Lord, Thou hast been our refuge.
R/. From generation to generation.
Let us pray.
GRANT, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that as year by year we devoutly keep these holy observances, we may be pleasing to Thee both in body and soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Honour of Christ’s Betrayal and Passion
O GOD, Who to redeem the world didst vouchsafe to be born amongst men, to be circumcised, rejected by the Jews, betrayed by the traitor Judas with a kiss, to be bound with cords, and as an innocent lamb to be led to the slaughter; Who didst suffer Thyself to be shamelessly exposed to the gaze of Annas, Caiphus, Pilate and Herod; to be accused by false witnesses, tormented by scourges and insults, crowned with thorns, smitten with blows, defiled with spittings, to have Thy divine countenance covered, to be struck with a reed, to be stripped of Thy clothes, nailed to and raised high upon a Cross between two thieves, to be given gall and vinegar to drink, and then pierced with a lance; do Thou, O LORD, by these most sacred sufferings, which I, unworthy as I am, yet dare to contemplate, by Thy holy Cross and by Thy bitter Death, free me from the pains of hell, and vouchsafe to bring me to Paradise, whither Thou didst lead the thief who was crucified with Thee, my Jesus, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God forever and ever. Amen.
5x Pater Noster … Ave Maria … Gloria Patri …
(Pre-1968 Indulgence of 3 years)
Prayer for God’s Blessing on Our Labours
O LORD, graciously look down upon Thy servants and upon the work of their hands, and do Thou, Who givest food to every creature, bless and preserve the fruits of the earth, that the needy may be filled with good things and that all may praise the glory of Thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Vocations to the Priesthood
ANT. Why stand ye all the day idle, go ye into my vineyard.
V/. Ask the Lord of the harvest.
R/. That He send labourers into His vineyard.
Let us pray.
GOD, Who willest not the death of the sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; grant, by the intercession of blessed Mary Ever-Virgin and of all the saints, labourers for Thy Church, fellow labourers with Christ, to spend and consume themselves for souls. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
(Pre-1968 Indulgence of 3 years)
Thanksgiving to God for His mercies.
 FOR DAVID himself.
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and let all that is within me bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all he hath done for thee.  Who forgiveth all thy iniquities: who healeth all thy diseases.  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction: who crowneth thee with mercy and compassion.  Who satisfieth thy desire with good things: thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s.
. The Lord doth mercies, and judgment for all that suffer wrong.  He hath made his ways known to Moses: his wills to the children of Israel.  The Lord is compassionate and merciful: longsuffering and plenteous in mercy.  He will not always be angry: nor will he threaten for ever.  He hath not dealt with us according to our sins: nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
. For according to the height of the heaven above the earth: he hath strengthened his mercy towards them that fear him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our iniquities from us.  As a father hath compassion on his children, so hath the Lord compassion on them that fear him:  For he knoweth our frame. He remembereth that we are dust:  Man’s days are as grass, as the flower of the field so shall he flourish.
. For the spirit shall pass in him, and he shall not be: and he shall know his place no more.  But the mercy of the Lord is from eternity and unto eternity upon them that fear him: And his justice unto children’s children,  To such as keep his covenant, And are mindful of his commandments to do them.  The Lord hath prepared his throne in heaven: and his kingdom shall rule over all.  Bless the Lord, all ye his angels: you that are mighty in strength, and execute his word, hearkening to the voice of his orders.
. Bless the Lord, all ye his hosts: you ministers of his that do his will.  Bless the Lord, all his works: in every place of his dominion, O my soul, bless thou the Lord.
Gloria Patri …
Litany of the Saints
Lord, have mercy on us. (Lord have mercy on us.)
Christ, have mercy on us. (Christ have mercy on us.)
Lord, have mercy on us. (Lord, have mercy on us.)
Christ, hear us. (Christ, hear us.)
Christ, graciously hear us. (Christ, graciously hear us.)
God the Father of heaven, (have mercy on us.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, (have mercy on us.)
God the Holy Ghost, (have mercy on us.)
Holy Trinity, one God, (have mercy on us.)
Holy Mary, (* pray for us)
Holy Mother of God, (*)
Holy Virgin of virgins, (*)
St. Michael, (*)
St. Gabriel, (*)
St. Raphael, (*)
All ye holy Angels and Archangels, (*)
All ye holy orders of blessed Spirits, (*)
St. John the Baptist, (*)
St. Joseph, (*)
All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets, (*)
St. Peter, (*)
St. Paul, (*)
St. Andrew, (*)
St. James, (*)
St. John, (*)
St. Thomas, (*)
St. James, (*)
St. Philip, (*)
St. Bartholomew, (*)
St. Matthew, (*)
St. Simon, (*)
St. Thaddeus, (*)
St. Matthias, (*)
St. Barnabas, (*)
St. Luke, (*)
St. Mark, (*)
All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists, (*)
All ye holy Disciples of the Lord, (*)
All ye holy Innocents, (*)
St. Stephen, (*)
St. Lawrence, (*)
St. Vincent, (*)
SS. Fabian and Sebastian, (*)
SS. John and Paul, (*)
SS. Cosmas and Damian, (*)
SS. Gervase and Protase, (*)
All ye holy Martyrs, (*)
St. Sylvester, (*)
St. Gregory, (*)
St. Ambrose, (*)
St. Augustine, (*)
St. Jerome, (*)
St. Martin, (*)
St. Nicholas, (*)
All ye holy Bishops and Confessors, (*)
All ye holy Doctors, (*)
St. Anthony, (*)
St. Benedict, (*)
St. Bernard, (*)
St. Dominic, (*)
St. Francis, (*)
All ye holy Priests and Levites, (*)
All ye holy Monks and Hermits, (*)
St. Mary Magdalen, (*)
St. Agatha, (*)
St. Lucy, (*)
St. Agnes, (*)
St. Cecilia, (*)
St. Catherine, (*)
St. Anastasia, (*)
All ye holy Virgins and Widows, (*)
[Other Saints may be added]
All ye holy Saints of God, (Make intercession for us.)
Be merciful, (Spare us, O Lord.)
Be merciful, (Graciously hear us, O Lord.)
From all evil, (^ O Lord, deliver us)
From all sin, (^)
From Thy wrath, (^)
From sudden and unlooked for death, (^)
From the snares of the devil, (^)
From anger, and hatred, and every evil will, (^)
From the spirit of fornication, (^)
From lightning and tempest, (^)
From the scourge of earthquakes, (^)
From plague, famine and war, (^)
From everlasting death, (^)
Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, (^)
Through Thy Coming, (^)
Through Thy Birth, (^)
Through Thy Baptism and holy Fasting, (^)
Through Thy Cross and Passion, (^)
Through Thy Death and Burial, (^)
Through Thy holy Resurrection, (^)
Through Thine admirable Ascension, (^)
Through the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete. (^)
In the day of judgment. (^)
We sinners, (~ we beseech Thee, hear us)
That Thou wouldst spare us, (~)
That Thou wouldst pardon us, (~)
That Thou wouldst bring us to true penance, (~)
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to govern and preserve Thy holy Church, (~)
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve our Apostolic Prelate, and all orders of the Church in holy religion, (~)
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of holy Church, (~)
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes, (~)
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant peace and unity to the whole Christian world, (~)
That Thou wouldst call back to the unity of the Church all who have strayed from her fold, and to guide all unbelievers into the light of the Gospel, (~)
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us in Thy holy service, (~)
That Thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires, (~)
That Thou wouldst render eternal blessings to all our benefactors, (~)
That Thou wouldst deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren, relations, and benefactors, from eternal damnation, (~)
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth, (~)
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, (~)
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to hear us, (~)
Son of God, (~)
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, (spare us, O Lord.)
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, (graciously hear us, O Lord.)
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, (have mercy on us.)
Christ, (hear us.)
Christ, (graciously hear us.)
Lord, have mercy, (Lord, have mercy.)
Christ, have mercy, (Christ, have mercy.)
Lord, have mercy, (Lord, have mercy.)
[Our Father, inaudibly until] … And lead us not into temptation (but deliver us from evil. Amen.)
(Partial Indulgence, 1968; taken from Fisheaters.com)
~~~ +++++++ ~~~
Rogation Day Prayer
All we can do is worth nothing
Unless God blesses the deed;
Vainly we hope for the harvest-tide
Till God gives life to the seed;
Yet nearer and nearer draws the time,
The time that shall surely be
When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea.