Mass Schedule – Advent III (December 14, 2014)
17, Ember Wednesday in Advent
19, Ember Friday in Advent
20, Ember Saturday in Advent
+ Among some Christians, it is the custom to observe these clusters of three days roughly at the beginnings of the four seasons. They fall on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following:
• The First Sunday in Lent
• Pentecost Sunday
• September 14th
• December 13th (or, Third Sunday of Advent)
They are days of special prayer for those about to be ordained to the ministry, and some measure of fasting or abstinence, or partial fasting, or token fasting (such as not eating meat) is a customary part of their observance. The entree shrimp tempura and its relatives, which we are accustomed to think of as traditional Japanese dishes, were invented by a Portugese missionary as meatless dishes for special days like the Ember days, and the word “tempura” is derived from the word “Ember.”
The history of the days has been a subject of much dispute. Their name is apparently derived from the Latin quattuor tempora, or “The Four Seasons.” They appear to have originated in Rome and to have spread from there. There are good reasons that suggest that the Qumran community (Dead Sea Scrolls) had a similar observance that indicates the universal sense of the solemnity of taking upon one’s self a ministry such as Holy Order. Originally there were perhaps only three sets of Ember Days, with the Spring Ember Days simply part of the days of Lent.
The prophet Zechariah speaks (Zech. 8:19) of “the fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth,” and many Western manuscripts omitted the reference to the fifth. Counting from March as the first month, this would have been understood to refer to fasts in June, September, and December, and may have influenced the Christian observance. Again, there were pagan rites of purification connected with the times of sowing seed (December) and harvest (June) and vintage (December) and the Christian fasts may have been chosen to counter-act these. It has been said that the Ember Days were first observed in the time of Pope Callistus I (218-225), but the earliest definite reference to them that we have is in the sermons of Pope Leo the Great (440-461). Pope Gelasius I (492-496) decreed that ordinations should take place at the end of the first full week of Lent, and it may be that he both (a) added the Spring Ember Days to the calendar and (b) introduced the connection between the Ember Days and ordination. We have evidence that ordinations also took place on the third Saturday in December.
+ All Saints Men’s Group will meets each Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. in undercroft.
+The Holy Communion is celebrated Monday through Saturday at 12:15 p.m.
+ All Saints parishioner may obtain a Mass card from the Church office. A Mass card is a greeting card given to someone to inform him or her that a deceased loved one or friend was remembered and prayed for at a weekly Mass. It is a specifically Christian way to express one’s love. Call Julie McDermott at the Church office (434-979-2842) and she will help you fill out the form. The celebrant will sign the card and we will mail it from the Church to the family of the loved one.