“Holy Cross, Lucy, Ashes, Day of the Annointed,are when the ember days are appointed.”
Four times a year, in the traditional calendar, we celebrate ember days which fall on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday with the change of the seasons. These ancient days go back to at least the 5th century, and traditionally are days of penance, fast and partial abstainance from meat (meaning meat at the main meal only).
While the observation of these days are no longer mandatory, it is a good and pious thing to voluntarily observe them. The purpose of these “mini-lents” are to pray, fast, and thank God for the gifts He gives us through nature such food and shelter. This week we have the September Ember Days, falling after the Feast of the Holy Cross as the rhyme above reminds us.