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Lenten Ember Days

Posted: Mar 12, 2014

The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after the First Sunday in Lent have traditionally been observed as 'Ember Days'. Not a lot is known about the origin of Ember Days, but since the period of the early Church they have been set aside as times of fasting and concentrated prayer.

In Lent, the focus of this devotion is particularly on 'missionary work in our own country'. The Collect in the Book of Common Prayer goes:

O GOD, who hast made of one blood all nations for to dwell on the face of the earth, and didst send thy blessed Son Jesus Christ to preach peace to them that are afar off and to them that are nigh: Grant that all peoples of the world may feel after thee and find thee; and hasten, O Lord, the fulfilment of thy promise to pour out thy Spirit upon all flesh; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Those wishing to pray especially for our brothers and sisters in the north might wish to make use of the wonderful resources available on the Council of the North web site. There you will find the following prayer:

ALMIGHTY God, giver of every perfect gift; We remember before you, our brothers and sisters who live in the parts of our Church served by the Council of the North. Where your Church is poor, enrich and empower it; where there is need for clergy, call them forth; where it is spread thin by geography, bind it with cords of love; where there is conflict, bring reconciliation. Give to us, with all our brothers and sisters, that due sense of fellowship in your Kingdom, that you may be glorified in all your saints, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.


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