Lenten Ember Days: February 24th, 26th & 27th

Year of Vocations

 Ember Days are days of prayer and fasting that mark the changing of times and seasons in order to bring about deeper spiritual renewal. On these days, the Church “entreats the Lord for the various needs of humanity” and gives thanks to God for various blessings received (Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 45). The Church also prays for priests and for those who are being ordained. During the Year of Vocations in the Diocese of Syracuse, Bishop Lucia invites both the clergy and the faithful of the diocese to participate in the following Ember Days.

2021 Lenten Ember Days for Priests and Deacons

February 24th
Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet in reparation for sins committed by the clergy and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood
Fast from unnecessary verbal communication

February 26th
Pray by attending a Mass offered For Vocations to Holy Orders (see, Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions, #9)
Fast in addition to abstaining from meat by eating only one full meal (and two smaller meals that together do not equal a full meal)

February 27th
Pray for Rev. Mr. Brendan Foley who is preparing for ordination to the priesthood
Fast from unnecessary work
Fast from alcohol, soda, etc. and drink only water


An indulgence is a powerful way through which God extends his mercy to us.  It is a sign that God’s mercy is stronger than our sin. More specifically, an indulgence is “a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1471; Manual of Indulgences, norm 1).

“An indulgence is partial or plenary according to whether it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin. The faithful can obtain partial or plenary indulgences for themselves, or they can apply them to the dead” (Manual of Indulgences, norms 2-3).

Indulgences attached to the prayer and fasting involved in the observance of the 2020-2021

Ember Days for the Year of Vocations

The faithful who participate in the special Masses offered on these ember days, in the voluntary fasting prescribed, and/or in praying for the intentions suggested can obtain a partial indulgence, that is, a partial remission before God of the temporal punishment for sin, whose guilt is forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance, provided they are in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed (Manual of Indulgences, norms 4, 7; general concessions 1, 3).

Indulgence attached to prayers offered in honor of Saint Joseph

A partial indulgence is also granted to the faithful who invoke the intercession of Saint Joseph  with a duly approved prayer, for example, Ad te, beate Ioseph (Manual of Indulgences, general concession 19).

Ad te, beate Ioseph

To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities. O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness. As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.