21 May 2013

Octave of Pentecost

Happy Whittuesday! You've probably heard Pentecost referred to as Whitsunday, but did you know that each day this week, since we are in the octave of Whitsunday, is also a "Whit"? This week, like the week after Easter, is a time of continuing our celebration of Pentecost and the beginning of the Church. Because the summer Ember Days fall within the octave of Pentecost, though, this week is also penitential.

Ember days, if you aren't familiar, are sets of three penitential days--Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday--which fall roughly at the beginning of each of the four seasons. They all carry the general intentions of giving thanks for God's gifts of nature and reminding mankind to use these gifts wisely and with moderation, but each set of ember days also has unique purposes: With the summer ember days, we pray for a fruitful growing season and bountiful harvest. They aren't enforced by universal Church law as days of fast and half-abstinence (meat at one meal only) anymore, but it's still not a bad idea to find some way to observe them at home; prayer, fasting, and good works certainly don't become less beneficial to our souls just because they aren't required!

I'm glad I remembered what week it was before planning out this week's menu! For the record, I actually finished this on Sunday, but somehow didn't get around to posting until today.

Pentecost Sunday: pasta amatriciana, green salad
Whitmonday: chipotle chicken soft tacos
Whittuesday: pork kebabs with grilled peppers and onions, sesame rice
Whitwednesday: Spanish shrimp and rice, green salad
Whitthursday: dinner with my family
Whitfriday: vegetable pizza
Whitsaturday: plans with friends

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