This is the time of the year when SEI, in common with most other Theological Education Institutes, produces its annual Ember Card. The card lists the names of those students who have just completed their first three years of ministerial formation (IME1) and are about to be ordained Deacon at Michaelmas. It is circulated to encourage the Church to pray for those candidates.
But why ‘Ember’ cards? In common with the liturgical calendars of other Western churches, the SEC keeps four sets of ‘Ember Days’, three days within a week, roughly equidistant through the year, which are earmarked for fasting and prayer. Prayer at these times is specifically asked for those who serve the Church in its various ministries, both ordained and lay, and for vocations. Special readings appropriate to these themes are provided in the SEC Calendar and Lectionary for those Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays four times a year.
So here is this year’s card. Please use it in your own private prayers, and also give it to those leading the Prayers of the People on Sundays, that Val, Andrew, Ross, Janet and Rachael may be supported by all our prayers as they prepare to take this momentous step in their lives of faithful discipleship.