Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As the Church seeks to make reparation for the grievous sins that have been committed by some of her members, many bishops have proposed that their dioceses take up the Church’s tradition of observing the Ember Days. I join with these bishops and encourage the priests, deacons, religious, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Tyler to consider observing these special times.
The Ember Days are four sets of three days at the beginning of each season which are set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The times provide an opportunity for us to reflect on God’s abundant gifts and blessings, to teach us to make wise use of them and to remind us to help the poor and marginalized. In these practices, the Ember Days offer a time of spiritual renewal as we seek to be continually converted to Christ.
The traditional celebrations of Ember Days loosely correspond to the four seasons of the year, which is where the name “ember” comes from – a corruption of the Latin phrase quatour tempora, meaning “four times.” They occur on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following certain liturgical feasts. The upcoming Ember Days are:
After Feast of the Holy Cross (September 14): September 19, 21, 22, 2018
After Feast of St. Lucy (December 13): December 19, 21, 22, 2018
After First Sunday of Lent: March 13, 15, 16, 2019
After Pentecost: June 12, 14, 15, 2019
On these days, I particularly invite the faithful to attend daily Mass in their parishes and missions and pray for the progress of the Christian faith, peace and unity in the world, and the conversion of sinners.
Faithfully yours in Christ Jesus,
+ Bishop Joseph Strickland