Yesterday was the Feast of St. Lucy which means that it's time for Ember Days! What's that? You've never heard of Ember Days? Well, here's a little bit of history:
The term “Ember Days” is derived from the Latin term Quatuor Tempora, which literally means “four times.” There are four sets of Ember Days each calendar year; three days each – Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Ember Days fall at the start of a new season and they are ordered as days of fast and abstinence. The significance of the days of the week are that Wednesday was the day Christ was betrayed, Friday was the day He was crucified, and Saturday was the day He was entombed.
Learn more about Ember Days>>
A Brief History of Christmas Carols
Most of us know by heart at least a few Christmas songs, and have heard many others, both secular and religious. From Thanksgiving (and often even earlier) until Christmas we are inundated with them in stores, on the radio, at Christmas concerts, and once the secular world is putting away their Christmas decorations, Catholics get to continue to hear Christmas hymns and carols at Mass for another couple of weeks. Just listening to one of these any time during the year can conjure up visions of Christmas pageants, nativities, red and green decorations, Christmas trees, and stockings hung by the fireplace. But the holiday has not always been so inextricably linked with these songs.
Hymns written specifically for the feast of Christmas have been around, it seems, almost as long as the feast itself. Many of these early hymns were created for and added to the Divine Office, and weren't widely known. Some of these early hymn-writers included St. Ambrose, Prudentius, and Venantius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers.
We've got the history of Christmas Cards as well. Funny
, your choice.
St. John of the Cross – Dec 14
Ember Days – Dec 15,17,18
St. Peter Canisius – Dec 21
Christmas – Dec 25
St. John the Evangelist – Dec 27
Holy Innocents – Dec 28
St. Thomas Becket – Dec 29