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Ember days

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Ember days pl (plural only)

  1. (Christianity) Four separate sets of three days within the same week, roughly equidistant in the circuit of the year, that are set aside for fasting and prayer.
    • 1785, Archaeologia: Or, Miscellaneous Tracts, Relating to Antiquity:
      St. Lambard's day (August 15) the feast of the dedication of Ryersh church happening frequently in the Ember days (in diebus 1111th temporum) and also in harvest, the bishop ordered that it should be kept on the translation of St. Martin in the summer, which was July 4th [w].
    • 1881, Robert Chambers, The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar, Including Anecdote, Biography & History, Curiosities of Literature, and Oddities of Human Life and Character:
      The Ember-days are periodical fasts originally instituted, it is said, by Pope Calixtus, in the third century, for the purpose of imploring the blessing of Heaven on the produce of the earth; and also preparing the clergy for ordination, in imitation of the apostolic practice recorded in the 13th chapter of the Acts.
    • 2013, Philip H. Pfatteicher, Journey into the Heart of God: Living the Liturgical Year, page 67:
      These are the Ember Days, the name derived from the German Quatember, a corruption of quattuor tempore, “the four times,” four groups of three days (Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday), marking the seasons by fasting and abstinence.

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