Four groups each of three days, namely the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after St Lucy (13 Dec.), the first Sunday in Lent, Whitsunday, and Holy Cross Day (14 Sept.) respectively, which have been observed as days of fasting and abstinence in the W. Church. In the RC Church they were replaced in 1969 by days of prayer for various needs at times to be determined by regional conferences of bishops. Originally connected with the crops, from at least the 5th cent. the Ember seasons were associated with Ordinations, and the association of Ember Days with prayer for ordination candidates is preserved in modern Anglican liturgies even when the usual time for Ordinations has changed. Thus CW places two groups of Ember Days before the Sundays nearest to the feasts of St Peter and St Michael and All Angels.