Today is an Ember Day. This takes some explaining.
Ember Days are three days which occur four times a year. They are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after St. Lucy’s Day (December 13), Ash Wednesday, the Day of Pentecost, and Holy Cross Day (September 14). Their name comes from a Latin phrase meaning “four times.” These times (originally three) were associated with sowing, harvesting, and vintage, when people prayed, fasted, and gave alms. The four times became occasions for the ordination of deacons and priests. They remain so today, although ordinations take place on other occasions as well.
Whether at Ember Day services or not, please intercede for those seeking ordination and those helping them discern their vocation as well as for all the Church’s ministers: lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.
Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people
is governed and sanctified:
Receive our supplications and prayers,
which we offer before you
for all members of your holy Church,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may truly and devoutly serve you;
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington