medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Bill East wrote:
> Her feast is moreover a Day of Special Prayer for Europe. Such days
> did not exist in the Middle Ages, but were instituted to  replace the
> old Ember Days and Rogation Days.
> The Ember Days were four groups of three days, namely the Wednesday,
> Friday and Saturday after St Lucy (13th Dec), Ash Wednesday
> (variable), Pentecost (fifty days after Easter) and Holy Cross Day
> (14th Sept). They were observed as days of fasting and abstinence in
> the western Church.
> The Rogation Days had a different origin and purpose. The 'Major
> Rogation' was 25th April, i.e. St Mark's Day, though this seems to be
> merely coincidental. In fact it was a christianised form of the pagan
> 'Robigalia' which took the form of processions throught eh cornfields
> to pray for the preservation of the crops from mildew. The 'Minor
> Rogations' were kept on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before
> Ascension Day.

The Embers Days and the three Rogation Days are, of course, still in the
Book of Common Prayer.

John Briggs

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