This week is Ember Week on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

“Four times a year, the Church sets aside three days to focus on God through His marvellous creation. These quarterly periods take place around the beginnings of the four natural seasons that ‘like some virgins dancing in a circle, succeed one another with the happiest harmony,’ as St.John Chysostom wrote…these times are spent fasting and partially abstaining (voluntary since the new Code of Canon Law) in penance and with the intention of thanking God for the gifts he gives us in nature and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation. The fasts, known as Jejunia quatuor temporum or the fast of the four seasons are rooted in Old Testament practices of fasting four times a year…Now in addition to the penitential fasting and alms giving of this time, it is good to consider our stewardship of the earth, a responsibility God gave us in the Garden of Eden, as recorded in Genesis 1:28-30…Because of the days’ focus on nature, they are also traditional time for women to pray for children and safe deliveries…As an aside, the Japanese style of cooking foods in a light batter – tempura – derives from Spanish priests in Nagasaki, Japan who wanted a tasty way to eat vegetables and seafoods so they could avoid eating meat on Ember Days – theĀ Quatuor Tempora…”

(Source- Excerpt taken from