Q. 1. What does "Ember days" means?
A. 1. Ember days are the days at the beginning of liturgical seasons set aside by the Church as days of fasting and abstinence. They were prescribed to the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday:
• after 13 December (S. Lucia),
• after Ash Wednesday,
• after Whitsunday (the Feast of Pentecost), and
• after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross).
The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.