ember days


  • probably a corruption of Latin: quatuor tempora, English, quarter tense, four times; possibly Anglo-Saxon, yimbren, circuit


A Wednesday, Friday; and Saturday, set apart by the Church during each of the seasons as days of special prayer, fast, and abstinence. The Embertides of June, September, and December were first introduced, and that of March about the 6th century. They were probably occasioned by the agricultural feasts of ancient Rome. Pope Gelasius I permitted ordinations at all the Embertides. Pope Gregory VII definitely arranged the Embertides for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Pentecost, feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14 September), and feast of Saint Lucy (13 December).

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “ember days”. New Catholic Dictionary. Saints.SQPN.com. 10 June 2014. Web. 20 September 2014. <>